Zambia slams SA finance minister


ZAMBIA has slammed South African Finance Minister Tito Mboweni labelling his conduct undiplomatic and saying he is not fit for his position in government.

Zambia, a political ally of SA, was angered by Mboweni Twitter post in which he said the Lusaka Airport was not much of an airport. 

Dora Siliya, Zambia’s Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services and chief government spokesperson was scathing in her response to Mboweni’s social media post.

Siliya said the Zambian government was extremely disturbed by Mboweni’s conduct “which totally demonstrated that he is unfit to occupy public office”.

The minister said the Zambian government  had noticed a worrying trend of Mboweni ignoring diplomatic etiquette by bad mouthing a sovereign state. 

“Mr Mboweni began with a tweet about our airport where he said that not development had happened in Zambia and yet this is the same airport that used to receive five flights of South African Airways, an airline which has since been grounded under his watch. Last August he disparaged Zambia again when His Excellency President Edgar Lungu appointed the new Governor of the Reserve Bank. His remarks were so pedestrian and undiplomatic that his own President, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, had to lambast him in very strong terms. 

“In his latest comments on Zambia, Mr Mboweni is so vehemently trying to paint a gloomy picture of the economic outlook of Zambia even when facts on the ground do not support his comments,” Siliya said.

She said the Zambian government was “extremely disappointed” with Mboweni’s conduct, adding that whatever personal issues the South African cabinet minister may have should not jeopardise the good relations between Zambia and SA.

“We have no doubt that Mboweni lacks experience for public office and will be censured by President Ramaphosa as before,” Siliya said. 

She said contrary to Mboweni’s “malicious campaign”, Zambia has done so well in the fight against COVID-19 that even reputable international media such as CNN labelled the country as a safe destination for tourism in 2021.

The Zambian minister then listed several economic measures that the government of Zambia has implemented to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on its citizens.

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