Finance Minister Felix Mutati (L)
Finance Minister Felix Mutati (L)

Zambia will conclude a deal with the International Monetary Fund for as much as $1.6 billion by the end of June, Finance Minister Felix Mutati said.
“We will conclude by the end of the second quarter,” Mutati said in an interview Wednesday in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital. “There is no question on whether the deal comes through or not. The deal is coming through.”

The country has been talking about getting IMF aid since 2014 but an agreement has been delayed by two presidential elections, which made the required reforms politically unattractive. A team from the Washington-based lender visited Zambia last month and will return at the end of May to continue the discussions, according to Alfredo Baldini, the fund’s representative in the country.

The southern African nation, the continent’s second-biggest copper producer, has struggled with ballooning budget deficits in recent years as metal prices fell and government spending increased.

The IMF is evaluating Zambia’s loan application and the nation can secure $1.3 billion to $1.6 billion, Mutati said. “You submit and have a conversation,” he said. “They have internal evaluation; they come back and ask questions. It’s a typical process that happens to all countries without exception.”

‘Growth Enabler’

The IMF loan would be a “growth enabler” and help the government to broaden its sources of external credit, Mutati said. Zambia’s external debt has increased to $6.9 billion while the total debt stock stands at about $10 billion, according to the government. It has sold $3 billion in Eurobonds, the most recent sale being $1.25 billion in 2015.

The IMF forecasts Zambia’s economic growth will accelerate to 3.5 percent this year, from 3 percent in 2016. That’s close to worst performance since 1998, when the economy contracted by 0.4 percent. Copper has gained 18 percent over the last 12 months in London but is still 38 percent down over the last six years.

Economic growth is buoyed by rising foreign-exchange reserves, a stable currency and increasing metal prices that have boosted export earnings, Mutati said.

“It’s not an issue about the actual figure, the issue is about what financing gap we want to fill,” Mutati said. “We will get from other sources using the IMF as a launchpad.”

Zambia won’t spend beyond its means and is cutting expenditure on capital projects that the economy doesn’t need to make debt manageable, Mutati said.

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59 COMMENTS

  1. Of course, after they told you to increase electricity rates by 75%, subjecting the people who voted for you to extreme poverty. What is $1billion, that you can perpetuate poverty for?

    IMF will never ever help you. If you develop, who is going to borrow from them. The next generation will still go back to IMF because you just made their grandparents even more poor by taking away their hard earned money the high tarrifs. Unbelievable!

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    • As long as human rights abuses on the opposition continues, we in the UPND will make sure that P F00ls do not get a penny from IMF.

      Actually giving pf [email protected] money is the same as putting in bottomless pit-they will just squander it….

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    • Awe shuwa! PF , I remember mutati claiming that IMF will lead zambia on conditions state by PF,,,,,,,things are bad and will be worse, ,, PF is the worst thing that have even happened to Zambia

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    • – When we told you PF would destroy the economy, you called us liars
      – When we told you PF would bring back IMF, you called us liars
      – When we told you PF would increase Electricity rates, you called us liars
      – When we told you PF would remove fuel levy, you called us liars
      – When we told you PF would bring back One Party Dictatorship, you called us liars
      – When we told you PF would remove farming subsidies, you called us liars
      – When we told you PF would fail to pay back Eurobonds, you called us liars
      – When we told you PF would bring back 3rd-term for kamina-misa, you called us liars
      – When we told you PF were fake christians, you called us liars

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    • What is good about concluding a deal over 4 years with exorbitant travel & per diem overhead costs and yet it will be blown within 6 months with exaggerated road contract invoices?

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    • If despite blowing away $9.2 billion in 5 years PF failed to develop Zambia, what will $1.6 billion achieve among PFieves?

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  2. I’m just a poor zambian in the US making a minimum wage as an economic refugee. I can never have the capacity to become a leader in my beloved Country. But it hurts to see how a few people on top are enjoying and my poor country men suffering.

    If ever I became a leader, either through an election or a coup, (although that’s not going to happen) I can become like the leader of North Korea or Zimbabwe. I can declare Zambia for Zambians. I can cut ties with colonialists who are exploiting us through IMF.

    I don’t care if they assassinate me or food poison me like they do these days. I’d rather die poor with dignity.

    What is $1b that they make our Finance Minister run around like a crazy person? Is it going to finish our problems?

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    • I hope you are being sarcastic. It is not the west to blame for our problems. They have developed their own countries. That’s why you are an economic refuge in the west. We instead steal our national resources and hand them back to foreigners in corrupt deals or offshore accounts. PF stole $9.2 billion in 5 years and have nothing to show for it. Zambia is now bankrupt. Who is to blame?

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    • @Lombe

      Don’t discount a military coup. Where there is no democracy the only way to be in state house is through the bullet . And right now there is no democracy in Zambia. The situation there invites a military intervention.

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  3. Mangande and Mwanakatwe were true ministers of Finance, these people and UPND are useless. Never thought I would miss anything MMD.

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    • This Felix Mutati is a Chartered Accountant by trade, only a fooool would appoint a man of his professional background as a Finance Minister as an accountant only knows how to keep the score not run the show….we are doomed!!

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  4. It’s easy to borrow money. Just wait until you have to pay it back; that’s when the “fun” begins.

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    • Unfortunately that is not true.

      Besides borrowing and stealing ten billion dollars, Sata, Chikwanda, Lungu and Mutati have done far more than just that. They have effectively destroyed Zambias creditworthy status on international markets.

      The Eurobonds were available because of the history of good financial management of Levy Mwanawasa. These other criminals have now sold future generations birthright for a few pennies in their pockets.

      That is why IMF is here. Nobody else trusts these thieves anymore. They have seen the corruption and rot, and collapse of the Rule of Law.

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  5. 12 The Lord will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. 13 And the Lord will make you the head and not the tail; you shall be above only, and not be beneath, if you heed the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you today, and are careful to observe them
    ~Deut 28:12-13

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  6. Wow ,our poor Zambia has become addicted to loans under reckless PF stewardship.And Mutati had to go to the regional economic hub of Nairobi cuz the IMF knows we’re useless in business.

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  7. It’s difficult enough to be UPNDonkey, just imagine every minute you are praying for your country to fail, praying for bad news. No wonder their Hechi Hechi is rejected at the ballot always, people dont vote for persons who wish them ill luck.

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  8. PF Cadres are so happy because are clueless as to what does to our country. This loan will do nothing but enrich the useless Edger and his bunch of thieves. Zambia has useless people leading it to the toilet.

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  9. And yet just the other day the same UPNDonkeys were celebrating that the IMF deal was off the table due to HH being in correction. And clearly no one cares where HH is, behind bars or home, or even how he was arrested. In fact things are moving faster with IMF since he was locked up.

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  10. You know, its funny that the Minister of Finance only has one economic game plan: IMF. If only he could consult the former Ghanaian President Mahama on how the so called IMF programme similar to what Mutati is promoting cost him the elections in 2016. IMF prescriptions such as the one Mutati is advocating have never worked anywhere in the world. The PF Government will lose elections in 2021 no doubt if they go the IMF route because their policies dont have a human face. Just look at Zesco’s 75% hike in price, honestly speaking the earlier President Lungu gets rid of Mutati the better for Zambia. I foresee countrywide strikes for teachers, nurses and others if Mutati’s IMF economic policies continue mark my words.

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  11. As donkeys they have no memory of what they said barely two days ago. That’s donkeys for you, no more proof required.

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    • Look in the mirror and see how ugly you are. Why do you call people donkey when you are close to an animal. I doubt if you are a human being. Your thinking sucks, and is very nauseating.

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  12. And it is without exception, from head to toe. The head is probably worse since the follower donkeys just ape what the head donkey says, without checking what head donkey said just a few days ago.

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  13. More debt Yoked on our children and grandchildren’s necks, but NO corresponding sustainable plan to show targeted growth. Its really troubling to any well meaning Zambian.

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  14. What s sham of a Finance Minister this MMD man from day one this accountant has been singing IMF praises …all he does is chasing after IMF from dusk to dawn, he can not think for himself.

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  15. Lazy Lungu, Lazy Lungu, Lazy Bum, Lazy Edgar on one hand you are pleading for a loan from IMF worth $1.6Billion on the other you are interfering in court cases of ZCCM’s lawsuit that wants to claim back stolen funds from FQM in the region of $1.5Billion of our money. I seriously can not understand the logic in that bum’s thinking…I seriousy can not!!

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  16. Most of the money will be going into the pockets of thugs and criminal connected to State house. Release HH. Thanks

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  17. From the picture you see a donor communitt very happy with Zambia’s finance minister and his country. Another interpretation of the ambassadors’ smiles is happiness that the scoundrel who feted them last year is being corrected.

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    • hehehehe

      look at this kaponya bally, a lender smiles with, him he thinks he is loved !!!

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  18. Instead of preaching to the Gallery Mutati should address the issues raised by the Good Governance Initiative (GGI) with Western Govts. Without restoring the Rule of Law , Good Governance and Respect for Human Rights, Mutati is wasting his time talking about IMF Loan. With HH still in Prison and the Presidential Petition unheard its most unlikely that the IMF Board which is dominated by Western Govts will approve this Loan. IMF Lending is not just about Economic and Financial Management. It includes Governance issues and as of now Zambia’s Human Rights Record under illegitimate Lungu is very poor. No Good Governance and Constitutionalism No Financial Assistance.

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    • @Zimba if the West were concerned about our human rights record no money would be given. The World Bank have given over $200mn. The west have done deals with worse leaders on the continent. So all these ‘so-called’ policies of subsidy cuts, hikes, etc are part of the IMF deal. Remember the PF campaigned on a ‘pro-poor’ government. However that cant happen if you spent all the money.

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  19. The IMF has a lot of confidence in the pf government.

    This why, in addition the international business community and the international community in general, the IMF and the World Bank have shown great good will towards Zambia.

    It appears the more the opposition talks the more they discover that PF means well, because the cries of the opposition make the international community study the affairs of Zambia and the government and discover the contrary.

    In fact after their private investigators they discover that it is instead the which is a problem.

    So those cries from the opposition have been so helpful in marketing the good governance if Zambia under the PF.

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  20. Terrible aka asigai please stop embarrassing yourself as you can see people have down voted all your comments here. Please take the hint and eff off

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  21. Thats the only thing the PF is good at ” endless borrowing” which they will channel to road construction where its easier to steal.

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    • Today most PF officials are in the construction industry, building roads with sand and black paint then quoting for 1 million per kilometre.

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    • Yes indeed INCOMPETENCE. Zambians celebrate INCOMPETENCE AND MEDIOCRITY. Just wait and see how some people will see the IMF Deal as a success!

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  22. It is not advisable for Mutati to put all his eggs in one basket. IMF Loan is Plan A what is Plan B? Its not mandatory for IMF to lend Zambia $1.6 billion. IMF lends to member countries on certain terms and conditions. Human Rights Violations is one of the conditions for IMF Lending. With current Gross Violation of Human Rights Mutati will not get the IMF Loan. Until the Lungu govt stops persecuting HH and others IMF Board will not approve the Loan. Across the Border, Zimbabwe for over 15 years has failed to get IMF and IFIs Loans becoz of Gross Violation of Human Rights. Mutati better learn a lesson from Zimbabwe.Zambia under Lungu is following Zimbabwe’s footsteps .History repeats itself.

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  23. sad news just wait v will take imf to icc just wait because zambian human right is not good still v r wating for a reply for my friend from the home affairs minster is 15 days over

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  24. Ukwanomics being practised by the PF is nothing more than a disguised form voodoo economics. The PF has stolen over $ 10 billion (over K100 billion) over the course of 5 years. This is money that was meant for developmental program’s. Can anyone surely believe that a mere $ 1.6 billion will make a difference in a dead economy like Zambia’s. The PF will simply loot the IMF pocket change and leave it to the hopeless Zambians to foot the bill.

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  25. The credit agencies use credit factors to assess your creditworthy. One of the factors is the rule of law or in simpler terms governance systems or corporate governance. Other factor are the country industry performance, the debt capacity, debt repayment programmes, foreign reserves, country balance of payments,GDP, fiscal and tax policies….
    Theprior effects of the IMF loan shall be downgrade of Zambia economic outlook especially on the Eurobond resulting in increase interest rates on bond. This will have spiral effect on high tarrifs, high imports duties , increase taxes in various from, unplanned revenue collection schemes such taxes on talktime, garbage,waters , council levies, vehicle taxes etc. The most affected shall the common Zambians especially the civil servant.
    The civil…

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  26. The civil servant should not expect an salary increment from now to 2026. Any negotiation shall be labelled as being unpatriotic.
    Unfortunately , the crush shall be borne by poor Zambians but the President , Vice President , cabinet ministers and MPs shall not suffer at all. These leaders don’t pay taxes on their emoluments and its unlikely that they can pass a tax law which makes start paying tax…
    Moreover, If Zambians asked how the IMF loans shall be utilized, especially the progammes or projects and the project managers, Zambians would be surprised that political leaders are beneficiaries.take for example , some the Euro bonds proceeds were use for building police in some districts, the contractors were PF leaders. CK was given to build police station in Chibombo, Chisamba and…

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  27. CK was given to build police station in Chibombo, Chisamba and shangombo.. The work is still incomplete to todate…Sad… The other Euro proceeds was used for NRC voter registration prior to the elections…. Can someone tell me the repayment plan from such an project. .In a project appraisal system there is need for investment and return phases to determine its viability.. A project financed by loans or equity or retained earnings(local reserves) must have positive present values. If not , it is worth undertaking…
    Today we are in this precarious situation of excess government expenditures coupled with undisciplined fiscal policy, populist programs like the President Empowerment initiatives which lacks coherent internal systems and controls…
    Currently the country need a turn…

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  28. Currently the country need a turn around strategy to fix the economy and be debt free… Anyway , who loves debts? the Bible is against debts…
    WE must strategise debt exit plan such as when our payback period should start and end…

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  29. Dictators Never learn from each other. Lungu is repeating what Mugabe did in Zimbabwe in 1999. Due to Gross Human Rights Violations Bob and his close Associates were slapped with Economic and Travel Sanctions. Zimbabwe stopped paying its debts and receiving New Loans from IMF and other Western Lenders and Donors. Lungu has chosen to travel on this dangerous road and will soon meet the same fate as Mugabe. Right now Zimbabwe is crying out for Financial Assistance from IMF and other IFIs but without any success. Lungu is busy Zimbabweanising the Zambian Economy with grave consequences. Without Good Governance and Respect for Rule of Law no Western Foreign Financing will flow to Zambia.

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  30. @Mwansa. U are spot on. With the HH Treason Circus in the Courts its very unlikely that the IMF will loan Zambia $1.6 Billion.Is Mutati still mentally sound? With Gross Violation of HH and 4 others in Jail IMF will not approve a loan to finance Repression in Zambia. Mutati should stop hallucinating about IMF Money and start preaching Self Reliance or look to the Far East like Zimbabwe did. Mutati will learn the hard way that China doesn’t lend money for Budget and Balance of Payments Support. So its only the Western Creditors who do this on certain Terms and Conditions including Good Governance and Human Rights Record. No Good Governance,Respect for Rule of Law and Human Rights. No Financial Assistance from IMF and Western Creditors.

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