Ronald Penza

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Ronald Damson Siame Penza (1949 – 6 November 1998 in Lusaka, Zambia) was a Zambian politician.


In the Zambian parliamentary election, 1991, he ran as a candidate of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) for a seat in Parliament, winning the Munali constituency significantly with 82 percent of the vote against the Rupiah Banda (who later became President of Zambia in 2008).

After the election of Frederick Chiluba as President of Zambia in 1991, Penza was appointed Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry. Following a cabinet reshuffle in 1993 he was appointed Finance Minister.

In these roles, he was largely responsible for the breakdown of the established policies from former President Kenneth Kaunda socialist planned economy. In 1994 he was nominated by the financial magazine "Euro Money", published by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund as the second best finance minister in the world. He watched while a program of privatization, which was one of the most radical in Africa, until his dismissal by Chiluba in March 1998 due to political differences.

A few months later, he was killed by armed intruders at his home in the affluent area of Ibex Hill in Lusaka. The police announced that he was the victim of a robbery and the five armed criminals were shot dead in an action to their arrest by the police.

On the other hand, there was speculation that his murder would be in a context of trade in arms and drugs smuggling by leading politicians such as former Vice President Christon Tembo and former defence minister Benjamin Mwila.

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