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Zambia's Sata announces new cabinet

2011-09-29 19:00

Lusaka - Zambia's new president Michael Sata on Thursday announced his 19-member cabinet, with businessman and economist Alexander Chikwanda named the new finance minister.

Chikwanda is a veteran politician who served in the governments of former presidents Kenneth Kaunda and Frederick Chiluba.

The new cabinet to be sworn in Friday mainly comprises party loyalists, but in a surprise move, Sata retained some deputy ministers who had served in the previous government.

But it is the removal of Bank of Zambia governor Caleb Fundanga which has unsettled the financial sector.

"We are concerned that this surprising announcement may signal that President Sata wants a quick change in monetary policy in Zambia, bearing in mind that his party has been very critical of high interest rates in Zambia," Citigroup said in a statement.

"Although the cabinet changes were largely expected and hence do not come as a surprise, the removal of the BoZ Governor with just six months left on his contract, is a slight concern," the group said.

Sata appointed his Patriotic Front deputy Guy Scott as his vice president.

The ministry of mines will be headed by mining engineer Wilbur Simuusa who will oversee a sector which is the backbone of the economy.