PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa has “strongly reprimanded” Finance Minister Tito Mboweni over comments he made on social media platform Twitter about the dismissal of Zambia’s central bank governor, the Presidency said on Monday.
The Presidency said in a statement that Mboweni’s remarks were unfortunate and do not reflect the views of the South African government.
Zambian President Edgar Lungu fired central bank governor Denny Kalyalya on Saturday without explanation.
“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,” the Presidency statement reads.
“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.”
Mboweni, a former South African Reserve Bank governor, called on the Zambian president to explain the dismissal of Kalyalya, Zambia’s central bank governor.
Mboweni said in another tweet on Sunday, which has also since been deleted, that he stood by his initial comments, adding “central bank independence is key. Not negotiable. Let all central bankers speak out!”
Mboweni has since deleted the controversial tweets following the furore.
The Presidency said the issue is being addressed to ensure that such an incident does not occur again.
“South Africa and Zambia enjoy strong historical relations dating back to the days of the struggle against apartheid. South Africa remains committed to maintaining the deep and solid bonds of friendship between the peoples of South Africa and Zambia,” the Presidency said.
Meanwhile, the financial markets and small-scale businesses, which are key to Zambia’s economic recovery, have called on newly appointed Bank of Zambia Governor Christopher Mvunga to reduce stringent measures which have made accessibility of the K10 billion economic stimulus package impossible.
(COMPILED BY INSIDE POLITICS STAFF)