Reacting to reports that President Edgar Lungu may not be too keen on concluding negotiations with the IMF over bailout package believed to be in the region of US$1.2 billion, Mr Simumba said Zambia needs an IMF program as a foundation for other financial players to come to the game.
“For those who think China is a solution will be shocked. China does not fund direct budget support or Balance of payments. It’s a pipedream to think China is a solution,” Mr Simumba said.
He charged that China can only be an additional support mechanism.
“Zambia needs an IMF program as a foundation for other players to come to the game. Even China will be reluctant to lend Zambia without some measure of reforms. Zimbabwe is an example of the failure of the look East policy. Swallow your pride and do the right thing Zambia,” Mr Simumba advised.
He said China only fund projects with strict conditions that only Chinese firms implement such projects.
Mr Simumba said what Zambia needs is general Budget and Balance of Payment support.
Reports have emerged that President Lungu’s administration may not be proceeding with signing up to the IMF supported programme due to the several strict conditionalities attached to the financing and is now looking to China for financial support.