New Malawi president sacks cbank governor -sources

BLANTYRE, April 24 Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:09pm EDT

BLANTYRE, April 24 (Reuters) - Malawi's new president has fired her central bank governor and named a telecoms CEO as his replacement, two people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

It was the latest move by President Joyce Banda to clean house and woo donors back to the poverty-stricken country.

Banda has tapped Charles Chuka, head of the southern African nation's largest fixed-line operator MTL to head the Reserve Bank of Malawi, said the sources, who declined to be identified because the information has yet to be announced.

Privately owned radio Zodiak Broadcasting Station reported earlier on Tuesday that Banda had picked Chuka to replace Perks Ligoya.

No one was immediately available for comment at the central bank.

Prior to joining MTL, Chuka had worked at the central bank as general manager for economic services.

Banda, a former vice president of Malawi and long-time women's rights activist, was sworn in as president on April 7 after the unexpected death of Bingu wa Mutharika from a heart attach.

One of Banda's first moves as president was to fire the country's police chief for the killing of 20 people in anti-government protests in July 2011, which drew international condemnation and led to aid cuts.

Banda has since promised more changes, leading to speculation she would fire other Mutharika loyalists.

Malawi relies heavily on foreign aid which accounts for 40 percent of the budget. Last year several Western donors withheld support over concerns about Mutharika's increasingly tight grip on power. (Reporting by Frank Phiri; Writing by David Dolan; Editing by Michael Roddy)

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