United party for National Development(UPND) President Hakainde Hichilema has said that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has now borrowed the equivalent to what the UNIP government borrowed in 27 years.
Commenting on reports that the Zambian Government has signed a loan agreement of US$418 million with China to finance the rehabilitation of roads on the Copperbelt under the C400 project, Mr Hichilema said that the contraction of the US$418 million loan by government to finance road rehabilitation on the Copperbelt is poor business judgment.
UPND president Hakainde Hichilema said that the money is at risk because the project has already hit cost overruns and delays at a time when other developments are being undertaken.
Mr. Hichilema said that he suspects that the PF Government has therefore signed this loan only to appease itself.
He has however warned that the US$418 million loan risks being potential loss to taxpayers.
Mr. Hichilema said that he finds it disheartening to see how the PF government is borrowing money at the time that Zambia is grappling with the economic challenges.
Over the weekend in South Africa, Zambia and China Development Bank (CDB) has signed a loan agreement of US$418 million to finance the rehabilitation of roads on the Copperbelt under the C400 project.
The deal was signed here on the side lines of the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) which closed yesterday in Sandton City.
The whole project would cost US$492 million with CDB financing US$418 million while Zambia would foot the 15 per cent difference.
China Henan has been contracted to do the roads works which are expected to start in the first quarter of 2016 and completed two and half years.
The project would be undertaken in all districts including Kalulushi, Chambishi, Kitwe, Chingola, Mufulira, Ndola, Luanshya and Chililabombwe
Finance minister Alexander Chikwanda, who signed on behalf of Zambia, said the agreement said the Government valued the cooperation that existed between the two countries.