South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has reprimanded his Finance Minister Tito Mboweni over his social media comments on the sacking of Zambia’s Central Bank governor.
In numerous tweets Mr Mboweni questioned the sacking of Denny Kalyalya by Zambian President Edgar Lungu.
He wrote that “Presidents in Africa must stop this nonsense of waking up in the morning and fire a Central Bank Governor! You cannot do that. This is not some fiefdoms of yours! Your personal property?! No!”
That Governor was a good fella. Why do we do these things as Africans. The President of Zambia must give us the reasons why he dismissed The Governor – or else hell is on its way. I will mobilize!”
Looks like I am in trouble about my statement on the dismissal of the Bank of Zambia Governor! I stand by my statement. Central Bank independence is key. Not negotiable. Let all central bankers speak out!”
He later deleted the tweets but his comments have angered his boss, President Ramaphosa.
In a statement President Ramaphosa dissociated the South African government from the remarks.
It said “In one of his tweets, Minister Mboweni is promising to mobilise if not given reasons why the Central (bank) Governor has been fired by President Lungu.”
“President Ramaphosa wishes to assure the government and people of the Republic of Zambia that the unfortunate remarks do not reflect the views of the South African Government and its people,” a statement from the presidency said.
The statement said the issue is being addressed to avoid a recurrence of the incident.
“South Africa remains committed to maintaining the deep and solid bonds of friendship between the peoples of South Africa and Zambia,” the statement added.
Mboweni, has held positions in private companies and is a Ramaphosa ally who was appointed finance minister in 2018.
Zambia’s Information Minister Dora Siliya had said they will pursue the matter “diplomatically”.
We are very surprised with Tito Mboweni’s immature and improper criticism of a sovereign decision by Zambia. The Minister should be attending to COVID problems facing the South Africans, our focus here. We will pursue matter diplomatically.
— Hon. Dora Siliya, MP (@Dora_Siliya) August 23, 2020