Commercial interest rates in Zambia were hampering economic growth and job creation and must be brought down, President Michael Sata said yesterday. Private lenders in Africa’s biggest copper producer charged three times the inflation rate even after the government appealed to them to lower rates, Sata said in a speech read by Vice-President Guy Scott in Lusaka. “We cannot continue to play games with matters that affect the lives of our people,” Sata said. “I will therefore give the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Zambia very little space and time to address the interest rate domain.” Standard Chartered, Standard Bank, Barclays and FirstRand Bank have operations in Zambia. – Bloomberg