Tributes are pouring in for former Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) governor Charles Chuka, who died Thursday at a private clinic in Lilongwe.
According to a close family friend Tobias Chinkhwangwa, Chuka died after a short illness.
He served as governor of the central bank from April 2012 to April 2017 and, during his tenure of office, he initiated a series of reforms that allowed for the flow of foreign exchange into the country as, at the time, Malawi faced an acute shortage of forex.
In an interview Thursday, RBM spokesperson Ralph Tseka said Chuka would be remembered for his remarkable contribution to national economic development as central bank governor as well as substantial input in the banking and other sectors.
“We are saddened by his passing. He contributed substantially to the economy. He was such a hard-working man and very committed to his work. We will greatly miss him,” Tseka said.
In a separate interview, National Planning Commission Director General Thomas Munthali, who closely worked with Chuka during his tenure of office at the Economics Association of Malawi, hailed the late Chuka for his professionalism.
“This is a big shock. I knew Charles for a while. One thing I liked about him is that he stuck to professionalism. He knew his role at the central bank. He was a monetarist at heart and he would be hardly moved by what politicians said.
“He understood the private sector and knew what the central bank had to do to contribute towards national economic development. I am saddened,” Munthali said.
Chuka had a Bachelor of Social Science (Economics and Sociology) degree from the University of Malawi and a Master of Philosophy in monetary economics from the University of Glasgow.
He worked at RBM’s Economic Services division from 1979.
Between 2003 and 2009, Chuka worked with the World Bank Group as senior adviser to the executive director at the World bank’s headquarters in Washington, DC, before joining Malawi Telecommunications Ltd in 2010 as its chief executive officer.
Meanwhile, death was also announced Thursday of Mbumba Banda Senior, widow to the late politician and former Cabinet minister Aleke Banda.
Until her death, Banda was one of the directors of Nation Publications Limited.
According to Masankho Banda, son of Mbumba, burial will take place today at Chirimba in Blantyre.