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Alaturka Gazetesi

Zambia: New Cabinet pick risks cloud of corruption

– Finance minister pick who had parliamentary seat revoked for electoral malpractice could deter investors, says rights group

By Francis Maingaila

LUSAKA, Zambia (AA) – Zambia’s tarnished new finance minister risks trust with international investors and shows a lack of commitment to fight corruption, a leading human rights group charged Friday.

President Edgar Lungu’s appointment of Margaret Mwanakatwe to the post, despite the High Court of Zambia court last November revoking her parliamentary seat for engaging in electoral malpractice, casts a corruption cloud over his government, Wesley Chibamba, the head of Transparency International Zambia (TIZ), told reporters.

On Wednesday, in a Cabinet reshuffle, Lungu demoted his Finance Minister Felix Mutati to works and supply minister and replaced him with Mwanakatwe, then-commerce and trade minister.

Also reacting to the appointment, Alex Ngoma of the University of Zambia School of Political Science told journalists that Lungu would do well to immediately reverse the appointment, as it would further injure further investor confidence.

“If the ruling party doesn’t have qualified people from whom the president can choose a person to fill the position of finance minister, the best he could have done was to outsource elsewhere than settling for a corrupt person,” added Ngoma.

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