Zambia: President Sata Accuses Central Bank of Printing Fake Money

When the website Tumfweko first broke the news last October about the Zambian Central Bank using alternative currency printers other than the traditional supplier De LaRue, it took a long time for the Central Bank to own up to the new arrangement.

However, a few days later, President Michael Sata disclosed that actually the Bank of Zambia under the direction of the then ruling MMD, printed “fake money” which is said to be in circulation. However, the MMD through its former Finance Minister, Situmbeko Musokotwane, has denied the allegation saying the Central Bank is at is at liberty to print extra money without consulting the Finance Minister or the President because it has the mandate to do so.

After President Sata was sworn in after the September 20, 2011, elections, the Central Bank Governor, Dr Caleb Fundanga was one of the first, if not the first, government official or parastatal chief associated with the former ruling party to have been relieved of his duties. Strangely, the position has not been filled more than two months later.

President Sata and his PF government have exposed a number of illegal dealings that went on during his predecessor, Rupiah Banda’s reign such as the purchase of expensive Lexus cars, the unearthing of billions of Kwacha from a former’s minister’s farm and other scandals most of which are yet to be proved.

The recent disclosures have been met with mixed reactions with some netizens supporting the government's actions while others expressly disagreeing with the president in the manner he was handling national affairs.

One contributor, KGB, on Lusaka Times suggested that Zambia should change its currency:

20,000 Kwacha note. Image courtesy of Zambian Watchdog.

20,000 Kwacha note. Image courtesy of Zambian Watchdog.

Country Men and Women, if what our combined security and law enforcement Officers uncovered at Dishonourable Austin Liato’s farm (ie K2.1 Billion burried under concrete slab) is anything to go by, then the Government must change the currency immediately to avoid uncontrolled inflation in our beloved nation.
There must be more money burried away in different parts of the country.

Therefore we musn’t allow those selfish” ma [POLITICIANS]” to ruin our economy by injecting fake Kwacha – printed out of selfish motives – into our economy. Please President SATA change the currency NOW so that they can get stuck with their Billlions of fake Kwacha. Mr President we are behind you.

Another contributor calling him/herself ‘Zambia A Cursed Nation: Another 5 years wasted’, advised Sata to quietly deal with the Central Bank:

This man is a liar. Honestly if there is fake money circulating in the economy we would have seen inflation tripling. And what have the Cabinet Secretary Joshua Kanganja and Chibiliti at the Ministry of Finance got to do with the printing of money? Sata please direct your querries to BOZ. At you age and your so called experience you do not even know how govt works. Sata you are a very irresponsible person. This is a very serious matter. In the most unlikely event that this was true, an intelligent president would have quietly instructed BOZ to mop out the fake currency. What you have done with this irresponsible accusation is to raise unnecesary alarm in the economy. Please next time you swear in your tribesmates stick to the task. We are tired of your endless litany of complaints…eish!

Lundazi Dweller wrote:

It is sad when the president starts to reduce himself to bar talk. Now that he is president there is no need for him to talk cheap like he used to when he was not president because then he would comment based on rumours. BOZ changed printers does that make the money fake? Can he explain to the nation the excess amount of money printed? Surely I expect more professionalism in the presidency than this

Kasapato, in defence of President Sata, wrote:

All those denying what my presdo revealed are simply showing their hate on the fact that PF won & they are disgruntled (Most likely these are from a party that will never rule Zambia (UPND).Well for your own information the boat has crossed the sea this time and you have remained with your powerless magical hand shake(Hajanza).Learn to live with this fact that sata`s name is in books and even god had a hand in his appointment.It is evident that money was printed and if you are that clever check the currencies and you will see different printer you disgruntled minority!

On Twitter, one tweep was concerned at the rapid rate at which the Kwacha was falling against the US Dollar.

@mosesmafwenko: Today we trade K5210 to $1. It might be the fake money!BOZ zambia @sandaykc missbwalya @GNdhlovu

After the Zambian Watchdog website reproduced a speech by Bank of Zambia deputy governor, Bwalya Ng’andu, at a money supply seminar at which he disclosed that one of the companies said to have printed money illegally was actually engaged under the late Levy Mwanawasa’s administration, one member of a Facebook group, Issues Concerning Us, had this to say [the comment is currently unavailable]:

As usual we have shouted wolf and what do we end up with? Something like this

Giesecke and Devrient started printing Kwacha notes in Mwanawasa regime | Zambian Watchdog

Giesecke and Devrient GmbH of Germany started printing the Zambian Kwacha notes during the Levy Mwanawasa administration.

One response under the post by Himalambo Swedish Sianyaka, read:

If this is the experience that Sata claimed he had to run govt then he needs brain check? The whole issue is so embarasing for a head of state to stand on an ant hill and make noise on issues he has little understand. Someone needs to tell him to think and analyse issues before opening his mouth.

Another netizen calling him/herself Zambia Iya New on Zambian Peoples Pact Facebook group was not very kind with the conduct of the PF government:

The PF seem to thrive on rumour mongering -first GBM is scared of his own shadow, the Gold scam, the NW chiefs,the ex-Generals and now (fake) or illegal money printing .What is this govt ,let them focus on the fast approaching 90 Day deadline and stop this kachepa business. We shall not be hoodwinked by focusing on petty issues.Any way this is typical kaponya tactics they grab byour aattention as you look away ,bang they have searched your pocket.Watch out my countrymen eyes on the ball or is it our pockets. Ba kaponya kwena (these hooligans)!

Chita Matt Nonde responded to Zambia Iya New's comment with a question:

Are [you] saying we were in paradise in the last 20 years of MMD?

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