SIMON MUNTEMBA writes

MY appointment came as a huge surprise and when I received a call from the Head of State I thought somebody was doing a plank on me, says newly appointed Minister of Finance Bwalya Ng’andu.

And Dr Ng’andu said his first priority would be to implement the fiscal measures aimed at restoring financial markets confidence.

Speaking to Journalist at State House in Lusaka shortly after President Edgar Lungu swore him in yesterday, Dr. Ng’andu said his appointment came as a surprise.

Dr Ng’andu who thanked President Lungu for appointing him said he did not expect the appointment at all.

“I did not expect my appointment at all. I was getting ready to go to church yesterday and I suddenly got a phone call, when I picked up, the president said “this is President Lungu”, I thought somebody was doing a prank on me but when I listened carefully it sounded like him,” he said.

“And he told me that he wanted to see me and I came to state house last evening. He offered me the job and I gladly accepted it,” Dr Ng’andu said.

Meanwhile, Dr Ng’andu said there was need for Zambia to restore fiscal health of the economy.

The Minister said he would look at the fiscal measures that were announced by his predecessor Margaret Mwanakatwe aimed at coming up with a debt sustainability plan.

He said there was need to implement the announced austerity measures that would curb unnecessary expenditure.

Dr Ng’andu also said he would regularly engage constructively with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for surveillance programmes.

Prior to his appointment, Dr Ng’andu served as a Bank of Zambia deputy governor for operations.

He previously served as managing director of the Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ), managing director of the National Savings and Credit Bank (NSCB) and director general of the Zambia Investment Centre (ZIC), among other positions.

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