Finance Minister Felix Mutati
Finance Minister Felix Mutati

Finance Minister Felix Mutati has disclosed that Zambia’s External debt stock as at end-May 2017 increased to US$7.2 billion from US$6.9 billion in December, 2016.

This is on account of new loans which have been accrued.

The stock of domestic debt stock was K38.6 billion in May 2017 compared to K33 billion in December 2016.

The increase is due to Government’s continued borrowing from the local commercial banks.

Mr Mutati disclosed this in Parliament on Wednesday when he delivered a ministerial statement on the state of the economy and an update on the engagement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

He also revealed that as at end-March, 2017, the stock of domestic arrears was K17.35 billion after government paid out a total of K4.3 billion towards clearance of arrears in 2017 alone.

Mr Mutati said in order to ensure continued debt sustainability, Government has finalized a Medium Term Debt Strategy that provides a framework for prudent debt management.

He further said regular debt sustainability analysis will be the guiding principle for future borrowing activities.

And on the Gross Domestic Product estimates for 2017, Mr Mutati said growth in 2017 is projected to rise to 4.3% against an initial forecast of 3.4%.

He attributed this to increased agricultural output, recovering generation for electricity and higher mining output supported by better prices and power supply.

Mr Mutati said other sectors that are supporting growth are construction, wholesale and trade and tourism sectors.

The Finance Minister also disclosed that the country’s current account deficit narrowed to US$257.1 million in the first quarter of 2017 from a deficit of US$574.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 largely due an improvement in the trade and primary income balances.

He said as at end-May 2017, foreign reserves stood at US $2.4 billion, which translated to around 3.3 months of import cover as Government’s targets to attain 4 months of import cover over the medium-term.

On revenue collection in the first five months of 2017, Mr Mutati said revenues under-performed by 10% compared to the budget.

He said the underperformance in revenues has been on account of low tax compliance by taxpayers, and delayed implementation of budget measures such as land titling and the installation of electronic fiscal devices to improve VAT collections.

Mr Mutati also blamed the low revenue collection to delays in the implementation of electronic equipment in the communications sector to improve the performance of excise duty and the introduction of a single window at entry points to reduce turnaround times at borders and boost revenue.

He said following the lower than projected revenues during the first five months of 2017, the Government, will reduce and realign expenditures to meet its deficit target and fiscal consolidation objective.

On the engagement with the IMF, Mr Mutati said the major issues required to be addressed for Zambia to proceed to conclusion mainly relate to higher than projected budget deficits, accumulation of arrears and an increase in debt levels.

He said government is confident that it will get a Board resolution on the bail out by August this year.

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40 COMMENTS

    • There is nothing wrong with this and or nothing alarming.

      Compare ourselves to Zimbabwe or Malawi – we are favourable.

      That is what matters if you asked me.

      Thanks

      Bb2014,2016

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    • That is why we are crying for an indigenous Zambian to rule our country because we know he will show love for our country and will therefore protect the interests of this country and not make such reckless and irresponsible decisions which have seen us owing such very huge sums of money yet we can’t point at anything this money has been used for. Thieves have siphooned and pocketed.

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    • Hey Lusaka Times~ tell the people the truth that it is $17.2 billion external debt & not $7 billion.

      LT, don’t mislead the people. PF minister in parley yesterday said that the external debt is $17 billion. In 6 months the debt has risen from $6.9 billion to $17.2 billion~PF glutinous bandits are fattening their bellies.
      So LT~correct the figures from “$7.2billion” to $17.2billion~simple.
      How much is mealie meal?
      The Skeleton Key
      ~206~

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    • Mushota, you wrote “if you asked me”.

      I don’t believe that anyone ‘ASKED’ you for your usual drivel.

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    • 11 Billion debt soon after Sata’s death. Lungu is up to no good. For example, his trip to Uganda when the country is in turmoil. One wonders what the cost benefit this trip will bring to Zambia. Cabinet and parliament should immediately curtail Lungu’s foreign jaunts and unnecessary expenditures. Zambia is on a ‘Stand still’ with Lungu.

      Free HH.

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    • This flight doesn’t select whether you are pf or upnd, no first class or ordinary, no matter how you wriggled that waist to dununa, we are all going down.

      Dununa, dununant?

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    • Surely in all honest, how can you compare Zambia to Zimbabwe and Malawi, and you conclude that all is well??????Honestly

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    • Me am surprised with the low figure. Other media institutions reported an external debt of $17bn.So which is which? Lusaka times please clarify. How could it jump to $7bn!

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  1. This is this reckless OF Government has plunged us into. Imagine $7.2 billion external debt. This is worse off than Kaunda’s 7 billion which was accrued in 27 years of His reign. And what is it we can show where this money has worked? These PF criminals in government are out to completely ravage our COUNTRY. Next Lungu and Mutati will have no choice but to hand over our country to the people we owe when they fail to pay back. And Mutati and Lungu still have the audacity to still want to borrow from IMF. Imagine how uncaring these people are. Yet they are not supporting our agricultural sector by protecting market. Imagine Batswana are taking our sweetpotatoes for free out of our country because government has no policy on all agricultural products floor prices. PF IS DISASTER. LUBGU IS…

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    • Zambia’s economy is now bigger than in KK’s days – that is not a comparison to make.

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    • It is SEVENTEEN Billion US Dollars, this is what Mutati said. We got HIPIC relief at $10bn dollars.

      Tighten your belts people?????

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  2. Gov’t of Zed under the leadership of PF is like a reckless teenager with his first credit card.

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  3. This Money Is Expected To Be Completely Paid Back 20yrs Frm Now, And Sure Some Of These Greedy Politicians Wont Even Reach That Far. It Is The Current Youths To Pay Back.
    Why Can’t They Seek For A Partial Debt Cancellation So That They Put Zambia Pa HIPC+
    Mwanawasa And Magande Did It. We Seriously Need Gud Leaders In This Country. The Problem Is That Most Voters In This Country Are Cadres Who Always Put Wrong People In Office. Very Soon Zambia Will Be Sold To IMF.

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  4. Lungu and Mutati are naive if they think that bribing one IMF Official will get them the Loan. The Western Countries control more than 72% of the Voting Power on the IMF Board. The Board will not approve the $1.3 billion Loan until Lungu respects the Rule of Law, Good Governance, Constitutionalism and Human Rights. With HH incarcerated on Trumped Up Treason Charges Mutati and Lungu should forget about the IMF Loan. Lungu must realise by now that while he rigged the 2016 Election he cannot rig the Zambian Economy. Without IMF Loan,Western Financial Assistance, Donor Aid and Investments the Zambian Economy will collapse with dire consequences on the People and the Illegitimate Lungu Regime. Time will tell!

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  5. Google zambias economic outlook 2016 to 2020 by tradingeconomis. Interesting figures and in line with what IMF will look at not Mutatis public placating pronouncements

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  6. …yaba, hh told his donkey supporters that the debt had hit $17bn, and the 1diots believed him. Look at 1.3 & 2. How can a whole bunch of people believe any rubbish told to them by their leaders and trust them religiously??? What happened to researching and getting facts??? YOU PEOPLE ARE DONKEYS FOR SURE!!!!

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    • Get your facts right. often use the term ‘donkey’ or ‘ass’ to insult others or pull a joke or two but not many of us know that donkeys are incredible animals with excellent memory and tremendous physical strength. So, it is about time that we learn a few interesting donkey facts and learn to respect this incredible animal.
      Interesting Donkey Facts: 1-10
      1. Did you know donkeys have excellent memory? They are capable of remembering a place they have been to or other donkeys they met 25 years ago!
      2. A donkey will never get involved in an activity if it considers it to be unsafe.
      [GARD align=”right”]
      3. With proper maintenance and care, a donkey can live for more than 40 years.
      4. Donkeys are by nature herd animals. They prefer to stay in groups but a single donkey can actually live…

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    • 4. Donkeys are by nature herd animals. They prefer to stay in groups but a single donkey can actually live happily with group of goats.
      5. When it comes to traveling in all terrains, donkeys are far better than horses. In fact, donkeys are considered to be all-terrain animals.
      6. Donkeys are originally from desert areas of Middle East and Africa and are anatomically well-equipped to survive in those conditions.
      7. A donkey is capable of hearing another donkey from a distance of 60 miles in proper desert conditions. This is possible because of their large ears.
      8. Their large ears also help to keep their body cool in hot and arid desert conditions.
      9. Compared to horses, donkeys are capable of independent thinking and decision making ensuring their safety.
      10. In case they sense…

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    • 10. In case they sense something wrong while traveling, they will simply not move ahead and will start digging in their heels. This is a behavior out of their intelligence. This behavior has made people think that donkeys are stubborn.

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  7. This weekend we are due to send out another petition bundle to the IMF pointing out the undemocratic abuses by the lungu regime.

    We highlighted dates and instances when opposition rallies, press briefs , meeting have been cancelled by the PF police.
    We highlighted dates when opposition figures are barred from free unhindered travel , barred from greeting supporters in public.

    Of note we recently petitioned 23 scandanevian energy companies not or invest in Zambia at this time and we have had very favourable responses from most…….

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    • As an update, the responses we received following the petitions to scandanevia energy firms, most were in the lines that their investment decisions are based on, among other things, on the socio economic environment and prevelling political situation.

      They all state that guidance is also sought from the overseas development offices of their respective countries.

      Our next step to to petition the foreign investment departments of countries even if they have embassies in Lusaka.

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  8. I am sure they were ignorantly cheering in Parliament as its filled with only PF…this day dreamer Accountant Mutati is running a budget at deficit yet they are not cutting back even releasing Development Plan when they are broke and can not pay civill servants.

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  9. Zambian citizen , it is wrong to call UPND donkeys.
    Ethics and values are about values and justice, it is not about pleasing or displeasing people but respecting people’s needs and rights.
    Truly, if you are a Christian , you could use polite words to UPND. GOD loves you, ECL , HH and me. Calling UPND names will not save you from GOD’s justice on the day of Judgement. GOD will judge you , ECL,HH and me for what we do to one another.
    If you truly as Holy as JESUS is , why don’t you emulate JESUS by show love to enemies.
    My young man , there is time for everything in life. Time to make peace with your soul before Judgement.

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    • Name calling is very common in Zambia – Sata used to do it. Then they all copied him calling Guy Scott Chola-boy and other names… COMMON PLACE

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  10. So ba Zambian citizen, ba terrible, kudos etc, careful some of the words you use, have you seen how blacks have turned once deaming racist terms like nigga into a baller culture, now even some whites like Eminem calls himself nigga, because he knows that’s were the money is, just goggle 10 facts about donkeys you will be left with a gulping mouth, tongue out, saliva gushing out.

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  11. Never justify sin. what is sin is sin in the eyes of GOD. What opinion you hold shall never change GOD’s view on evil. Many people have lived before you and died. These people had opinions and that did not change GOD’s view on evil. No man can change GOD’s mind on evil. If you insult and think it is cool , you are simply deceiving yourself.
    Never be envious of evil doers. Why should you die of other people’s sins. Just because other people insult , you also insult..
    Bloggers we need to change for our own salvation.
    This generation of ours is not the best ever on this earth. We are not different from the previous generations.
    Better live a Godly life than a wicked one.

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  12. 17.2 billion or 7.2 billion, add 1.6 billion in August, this balloons to 18.8 billion or 8.8 billion which ever is the true figure. However, like we have pointed out on many occasions, this Mutati is a clueless cannon who will bring more misery and suffering to the masses. The only two things he keeps yapping about are increased taxes and increased debt. What sort of economic theory is this? Zambia plus is a ploy devised to punish citizens with wanton debt and taxes unheard since Luka Pasioli discovered accounting in the 14th century. We have big brains in this country were we can tap the much needed knowledge and not this kaponya economics from the dustbin. Already barely five months in the year and he is revising GDP targets? Who is this moron trying to fool? We have a bumper harvest,…

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  13. continued. We have a bumper Why is the price of meal meal beyond the reach of many? Let us open our eyes people and rid these misfits from our coffers before they ruin this country, shame. Economics does not mean technical jargon devoid of any real change on the ground or lives of people.

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  14. Minister Mutati’s Speech in Parliament is now available on Audio. Mutati clearly stated that Zambia’s debt is now $17.2 billion and not $7.2billion. Why is LT falsifying the Amount? This Ostrich approach doesn’t help anybody. There is no way $10.2 billion was spent In 6 months. It means the December 2016 Debt figure of $6.9 billion was cooked and Debt figures were cooked from the time Alex Chikwanda was Minister of Finance. ABC must be held accountable for falsifying these figures. In a normal Constitutional Democracy Lungu and Chikwanda would have been arrested and Jailed. The former President of Brazil was impeached for manipulating and falsifying Budget Figures. This financial Rot must be independently investigated and all the Culprits punished.IMF should not lend money to Lungu and…

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  15. Lungu’s govt sole objective is self enrichment. It is a govt by the Crooks and for the Crooks. In 6 months this Lungu thieving govt has looted $10.2 billion. Somebody needs to hold these thieves Accountable. Instead of incarcerating an innocent HH and his workers on Trumped Up Treason Charges these thieves are the ones who should be in Jail for committing Financial Genocide on Zambians.

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