Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda delivering the 2015 budget
Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda

GOVERNMENT will not start new projects but will seek parliamentary approval to issue a sovereign bond to finance the budget deficit and complete ongoing projects, says Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda.

Speaking yesterday in Lusaka at a meeting with visiting United Nations Economic Commission for Africa executive secretary Carlos Lopes, Mr Chikwanda said Zambia is facing economic challenges that are mainly induced by external factors.

“Export earnings have fallen and our ability to import is constrained, so we have revised downwards our growth rate from seven percent to 5.8 percent. We shall not have preference for new projects, of course we shall complete what we started and the shortfall in expected revenue will be offset through the Bank of Zambia that will sell some treasury bills and bonds,” he said.

Mr Chikwanda said the budget deficit has gone beyond projection.

“We are seeking parliamentary approval, if they allow us; we shall go to the international markets where borrowing is a little bit cheaper and get a series of funds,” he said.

He said Zambia’s greatest asset is its young population.

“But we need to convert this asset into dividends, so we need to arm them with skills and knowledge for them to utilise the immense opportunities in the country as well as the region which has better prospects,” said Mr Chikwanda.

And Dr Lopes said many African countries have doubled their gross domestic products during the past decade.

“However, this growth is not producing quality growth to result in job creation. We need structural transformation of the continent so that we fully utilise our potential in agriculture, increase value addition since exporting raw materials is transferring jobs to other regions and we need to modernise the services industry,” he said.

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20 COMMENTS

  1. this old man must go. How can we surely have a finance minister who held the same portifolio in 1972 and did the same damage he is doing now?

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    • Zambians are tired of this boring Chikwanda. Bonds daily… it boring. Just go ahead Chikwanda do whatever mess you are doing we don’t to inform us that you want to go to toilet?

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    • Parliament shouldn’t even think about approving this. If it has to be, let it be under a new and responsible administration next year not this reckless PF led one. The money will all disappear mostly in their pockets just like the other Eurobonds.

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    • Chikwanda should be prosecuted for taking Zambia back to HIPC. The monies from the last Bonds have not been accounted for. E.g. Zambia Railways is still broke & a Dinosaur.

      Jameson Kaminamisa failed to make the Mines pay Windfall Tax. Now he thinks indebting Zambians is the way to sustain his poor Budget. RB & Sons are back & busy getting Oil Deals.

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    • Parliament will rubber stamp PF has the numbers. The representatives of the people would have done what their constituents want

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  2. It is hurting so much to see Zambia go completely to her knees in midst of new technology and skilled manpower around .

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  3. What stupidity is this? This fossil is so insistent to borrow money to pay off debts…with no care on how its going to be paid back…this reckless dinosaur Chikwanda has to go as its not him or his sick President who will paying all this debt but us and our children.

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  4. This is madness & the most disturbing thing is that some fully grown ups in this country will still clap and cheer for this!!!!.

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  5. Listening to parliament last night, I am afraid this will pass through. The opposition did their best to discourage this but the PF and (PF friendly opposition MPs) sound like they really need this

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  6. These are projects whose true cost has been significantly exaggerated to finance corruption. If we are serious as a nation, all these projects should be audited first before we even talk about borrowing further to complete these projects! For instance, the cost of roads per km in Zambia is higher than anywhere in the world! We shouldn’t leave a huge debt burden to innocent future generations!

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    • We shouldn’t borrow at all. These projects should be completed using internal resources. If Government eliminates wastage on things like useless by-elections, we will have enough resources to complete these projects! No more borrowing please!

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    • @P Kazhila you are very right. As an example, in a number of these government construction projects, a bag of cement is being quoted at K300 instead of K75. This is broad day light robbery! How can you use borrowed money like that.

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  7. They need money to finance thier campaigns, period. or better still why not wait until after the elections.

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  8. We should have a law that states that if a seating government take out loans that they cannot justify, the party should pay back after they loose elections, although they might want to dodge this by declaring insolvency, they should be stripped of all their assets including liabilities, this might help them think twice about their reckless behaviour. PF lucks foresight…simple economics is hard for them to phantom, borrowing money to payback another loan common!! learn from the greek situation.

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  9. Chikwanda must go………..we don’t need his failed contribution to the affairs of the nation

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  10. No more borrowing. they borrow to put money in their pockets. how do they justify pay over $300K for someone to satay at a lodge in Lusaka for 5 months. How much are they wasting on Changwa and the too many ministers and other PF cadres who are doing nothing? parliament should reject anymore borrowing. Even some good PF ministers should reject this reckless borrowing and Chikwanda should go.

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  11. We haven’t seen anything from the first two euro bonds so this should be a non starter
    The impotent parliament should say no NO NO
    We need to raise our own money and stop wastage
    Scrap entertainment allowances and luxury cars for ministers

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