Friday, February 23, 2024

Zambia never hides debt, it’s sustainable and being serviced – Mwanakatwe

...as Chiteme urges diplomats to fly homeland flag higher abroad

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Ministers Alexander Chiteme (right - National Development Planning) and Margaret Mwanakatwe (centre- Minister of Finance) and Zambia’s Ambassador to the USA His Excellency Dr. Ngosa Simbyakula at the Zambian Embassy in Washington DC during the Ministers’ courtesy call on the Ambassador on 19 April 2018. Mr. Chiteme and Mrs Mwanakatwe are participating in the IMF/World Bank 2018 Spring Meetings in Washington DC, USA. Mr. Chiteme is the Alternate Governor and Mrs  Mwanakatwe is Zambia’s Governor on the World Bank Board of Governors. PHOTO| CHIBAULA D. SILWAMBA | MNDP
Ministers Alexander Chiteme (right – National Development Planning) and Margaret Mwanakatwe (centre- Minister of Finance) and Zambia’s Ambassador to the USA His Excellency Dr. Ngosa Simbyakula at the Zambian Embassy in Washington DC during the Ministers’ courtesy call on the Ambassador on 19 April 2018. Mr. Chiteme and Mrs Mwanakatwe are participating in the IMF/World Bank 2018 Spring Meetings in Washington DC, USA. Mr. Chiteme is the Alternate Governor and Mrs Mwanakatwe is Zambia’s Governor on the World Bank Board of Governors. PHOTO| CHIBAULA D. SILWAMBA | MNDP

The Minister of Finance Honourable Margaret Mwanakatwe has assured Zambians and the international community that Zambia does not and will never hide its debt.

And the Minister of National Development Planning Honourable Alexander Chiteme has urged Zambian diplomats serving abroad to fly the Zambian flag high and woo Foreign Direct Investment that will benefit the people.

Speaking to the diplomatic staff when she and Mr. Chiteme paid a courtesy call on Zambia’s Ambassador to the USA His Excellency Dr Ngosa Simbyakula at the Embassy in Washington DC, the Finance Minister told the diplomats that during their various engagements in their countries of accreditation they should share and assure the international community that Zambia’s debt was still sustainable.

“It’s important for you to understand that we are not hiding any debt; give out the correct information. We are not intending, and we have never hidden any debt. You can’t hide a debt. Debt is like a pregnancy, it will show,” Mrs. Mwanakatwe said. “We are servicing our debt and Zambia is managing to pay its debts in line with its obligations.”
The Minister informed the diplomats about Zambia’s economic outlook. She said the country had received a lot of interest in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), particularly in the agriculture, tourism, manufacturing solar and hydro power and construction sectors.

“You are our ambassadors at any given time; share information with your fellow diplomats here in Washington DC,” she said.

Mrs Mwanakatwe urged the trade attaché to proactively work with the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry to attract investors into Zambia.

And the Minister of National Development Planning, Honourable Alexander Chiteme, urged Zambian diplomats to put the country first and engage with various stakeholders in promoting the country’s economic potential. The Minister of National Development Planning urged the diplomats to always familiarise themselves with strategic policy documents that Zambia has in place like the Seventh National Development Plan, the Economic Stabilisation and Growth Programme and the Debt Sustainability Strategy and articulate them to the world as they market the country.

Mr. Chiteme said diplomatic missions were important linkages for Zambia with the international community and should position themselves to contribute to national development.
In welcoming the ministers and the delegation to the 2018 IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings, Ambassador Dr Simbyakula commended the Government for spearheading the national development agenda. Ambassador Simbyakula assured of his staff’s support to the delegation.

Mrs Mwanakatwe and Mr. Chiteme were accompanied by Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet (Finance and Economic Development) Mr. Christopher Mvunga, Ministry of National Development Planning – Permanent Secretary (Development Planning) Mr. Chola Chabala, Ministry of Finance – Permanent Secretary (Economic Management and Finance) Mr. Mukuli Chikuba and other government officials.

The statement was released to the media by Mr Chibaula Silwamba, the Spokesperson for Ministry of National Development Planning.

Minister of National Development Planning Alexander Chiteme (right) listening to his Finance counterpart Mrs. Margaraet Mwanakatwe address Zambian diplomats accredited to the USA when they paid a courtesy call on Zambia’s Ambassador to the USA His Excellency Dr. Ngosa Simbyakula in Washington DC on 19 April 2018. Mr. Chiteme and the Minister of Finance Mrs Margaret Mwanakatwe are participating in the IMF/World Bank 2018 Spring Meetings in Washington DC, USA. Mr. Chiteme is the Alternate Governor  and Mrs  Mwanakatwe is Zambia’s Governor on the World Bank Board of Governors. PHOTO| CHIBAULA D. SILWAMBA | MNDP
Minister of National Development Planning Alexander Chiteme (right) listening to his Finance counterpart Mrs. Margaraet Mwanakatwe address Zambian diplomats accredited to the USA when they paid a courtesy call on Zambia’s Ambassador to the USA His Excellency Dr. Ngosa Simbyakula in Washington DC on 19 April 2018. Mr. Chiteme and the Minister of Finance Mrs Margaret Mwanakatwe are participating in the IMF/World Bank 2018 Spring Meetings in Washington DC, USA. Mr. Chiteme is the Alternate Governor and Mrs Mwanakatwe is Zambia’s Governor on the World Bank Board of Governors. PHOTO| CHIBAULA D. SILWAMBA | MNDP
Ministers Alexander Chiteme (right - National Development Planning) and Margaret Mwanakatwe (centre- Minister of Finance) and Zambia’s Ambassador to the USA His Excellency Dr. Ngosa Simbyakula pose for a photo at the Zambian Embassy in Washington DC during the Ministers’ courtesy call on the Ambassador on 19 April 2018. Mr. Chiteme and Mrs Mwanakatwe are participating in the IMF/World Bank 2018 Spring Meetings in Washington DC, USA. Mr. Chiteme is the Alternate Governor and Mrs. Mwanakatwe is Zambia’s Governor on the World Bank Board of Governors. PHOTO| CHIBAULA D. SILWAMBA | MNDP
Ministers Alexander Chiteme (right – National Development Planning) and Margaret Mwanakatwe (centre- Minister of Finance) and Zambia’s Ambassador to the USA His Excellency Dr. Ngosa Simbyakula pose for a photo at the Zambian Embassy in Washington DC during the Ministers’ courtesy call on the Ambassador on 19 April 2018. Mr. Chiteme and Mrs Mwanakatwe are participating in the IMF/World Bank 2018 Spring Meetings in Washington DC, USA. Mr. Chiteme is the Alternate Governor and Mrs. Mwanakatwe is Zambia’s Governor on the World Bank Board of Governors. PHOTO| CHIBAULA D. SILWAMBA | MNDP
Ministers Alexander Chiteme and Margaret Mwanakatwe,  and Zambia’s Ambassador to the USA Ngosa Simbyakula pose for a group photo with diplomatic staff and members of the Zambian delegation to the 2018 IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings at the Zambian Embassy in Washington DC on 19 April 2018. PHOTO| CHIBAULA D. SILWAMBA | MNDP
Ministers Alexander Chiteme and Margaret Mwanakatwe, and Zambia’s Ambassador to the USA Ngosa Simbyakula pose for a group photo with diplomatic staff and members of the Zambian delegation to the 2018 IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings at the Zambian Embassy in Washington DC on 19 April 2018. PHOTO| CHIBAULA D. SILWAMBA | MNDP
Minister of National Development Planning Alexander Chiteme (right) addressing Zambian diplomats accredited to the United States of America when he and his Finance counterpart paid a courtesy call on Zambia’s Ambassador to the USA His Excellency Dr. Ngosa Simbyakula in Washington DC on 19 April 2018. Mr. Chiteme and the Minister of Finance Mrs Margaret Mwanakatwe are participating in the IMF/World Bank 2018 Spring Meetings in Washington DC, USA. Mr. Chiteme is the Alternate Governor  and Mrs  Mwanakatwe is Zambia’s Governor on the World Bank Board of Governors. PHOTO| CHIBAULA D. SILWAMBA | MNDP
Minister of National Development Planning Alexander Chiteme (right) addressing Zambian diplomats accredited to the United States of America when he and his Finance counterpart paid a courtesy call on Zambia’s Ambassador to the USA His Excellency Dr. Ngosa Simbyakula in Washington DC on 19 April 2018. Mr. Chiteme and the Minister of Finance Mrs Margaret Mwanakatwe are participating in the IMF/World Bank 2018 Spring Meetings in Washington DC, USA. Mr. Chiteme is the Alternate Governor and Mrs Mwanakatwe is Zambia’s Governor on the World Bank Board of Governors. PHOTO| CHIBAULA D. SILWAMBA | MNDP

47 COMMENTS

    • Just 1 trip to DC they are so rich. My friend was among the delegation last year, he was busy shopping for Ford pickup truck just from allowances.

    • In a single day in 2022, Zambia must repay US$750 million and in 2024, it must repay US$1 billion.
      The third Eurobond of US$1.5 billion (issued in 2015) will be repaid in 3 equal installments from 2025 to 2027.

      Govt will default & it’ll be Zimbabwenification of our beloved country.

      Tighten your seat-belts bane, things are about to get rough. PF & J. Mutaware are the worst curse Zambia has ever had.

    • Madam, you inherited a mess. Alexander Chikwanda is the real culprit. I feel sorry for you and your predecessor, Felix Mutati. You were hired to wash the pots and the pans, unfortunately, the dishwasher is broken, and the washing detergent is gone.

  1. “Debt is like a pregnancy, it will show…” that’s a good one from our Finance Minister.

    One might go further to say most of these debts are just as unwanted as some pregnancies, yet the outcome is what matters – what seems to be a curse may turn out to be a blessing in the end.

    • Actually you’re right. I cannot verify every statement issued by our government officials, so I’m left with no option but to take it or leave it. In this case, I’ll take it because it makes sense.

  2. The intellect of the Permanent Secretaries in these two Ministries of wide vista of Finance and National Planning is shallow.

    Whereas the constitution restricts the pool to appoint as Cabinet Ministers, there is no such restriction for Permanent Secretaries. There are many great PF aligned achievers that can provide proper intellectual and networking guidance who could be appointed. Even more if the net is cast wider for the marginalised but patriotic groups, nevertheless.

  3. She says debt is being serviced but why are there arrears? Arrears are not a sign that all is well. Maggie Mwanakatwe isn’t to blame, not even Felix Mutati but a certain smart alecking Alexander Chikwanda and Fredson Yamba who promised a sinking fund while running a run-away budget deficit.

  4. Really laughable…these reckless dingbats are coming back emptyhanded from Washington; fooool me once, shame on you; fooool me twice, shame on me.

  5. Mrs Mwanakatwe not all of us are dull like the average PF cadre.It is common knowledge that debt contracted from the Chinese government or state corporations never touches the treasury and is easy to hide.
    Sri Lanka and Mozambique are good examples of a miscarriage suddenly happening when the pregnancy was hidden using a belt.

    • Look at Sri Lanka the corrupt leaders contracted a billion dollar overpriced port from the Chinese just to get bribes from the Chine Contractor…today they have defaulted and Chines army is got it back and will use it as a strategic base.

    • The Chinese are members of the IMF and they report whatever Zambia owes so that if the global financial system comes under stress, they know where the problems lie. That way, the IMF gets to know what is going on, including trade debt from the Chinese. That is what you sign up for when you join the IMF.

    • For those PF cadres who don’t know.
      The port of Hambantota has been taken over by the Chinese state corporation on a 99-year lease after the Sri Lankan government failed to service the $1.5 billion debt contracted in 2010 to build the port.

    • Independent – this is what is going to happen to all these overpriced projects being built by Chines…they will simply takeover that Ndola -Lusaka highway and slap toll fees on it in the next 5 years because some silly Zambian foools wanted to share a million dollars.

  6. Zambians – a people with issues over debt!!! If you must be educated, the whole capitalist world is about debt & debt repaying. Big companies get debt, in different forms. Today even in zambia that furniture, tv, fridge etc in your homes was acquired through debt. The USA has debt in trillions. Some of that debt is from China. Same as the UK. So debt is a normal way of doing things – only it should be within your ability to service. Thats all. In itself, debt, if managed by people with good plans can be empowering. So Zambians, lets the debt debate be about 1. If its being used for things that empower the country & the people. 2. How debt will be paid back. Not just noises about debt itself

    • You have no understanding of debt…do you understand why there is credit check? Do you know the difference between good debt and bad debt? Do you know what an asset is and what a liability is?

    • Sustainable debt and not debt defaulting….that is what Zambia needs.The PF are most certainly taking the country in the wrong direction

  7. We have spent money worse than a drunken sailor in Zambia. A sailor who has been at sea for months and earning allowances which cannot be spent because he is at sea would have lots of money when he eventually reaches a port and can spend lavishly. That’s where they saying about a drunken sailor and his money came from. We are worse than that because what we have spent is borrowed money while a drunken sailor spends his own money and doesn’t worry about paying back. I think we should get a drunken sailor into our govt and he would still be better.

  8. #2 Nine Chale, you are not alone on noticing that it’s a good one, I agree wholeheartedly. “Debt is like a pregnancy, it will show…” ‘that’s a good one from our Finance Minister’.
    Very true in practice too, it showed in Mozambique Hon Mwanakatwe would not want it to show in Zambia.

  9. If the debt is sustainable, what the hell are you doing there? Come back home! A debt that is sustainable does not lead to punitive taxes on citizens! You sneak a NHI bill in Parliament without consulting Unions and Employers, you sneak in Bolehole tax without consulting stakeholders like ZNFU, you sneak in Witholding tax on Rental income which in most cases is below the tax threshold, you and your PF MPs used your arrogance of numbers to deny Retirees their dues because you know you have squandered everything, you target anything that has money because you know it’s getting hot – the hidden pregnancy is about to miscarry! Don’t insult the intelligence of the people you want to borrow from. Only yesterday, Mutawale Chagwa was busy promising level one hospital this year. It looks like…

    • Meanwhile the LAZY thing is in Ndola dancing on stage and promising building a hospital…when was the last time these foooools built a GRZ funded hospital…his Health Minister Chilufya was last week shamelessly pleading with donors for a basketfund as he has no money as he has bought overpriced $288K Ambulances…where on a earth can a Mercedes Benz Van cost $200K??

  10. What is the latest embarrassment for h.h from South Africa? Has he managed an appointment to discuss his problems with President Ramaphosa’s office cleaner?

  11. It looks like plot one has a bigger budget that the National budget. Maybe that is where the hidden debt is – plot 1. Mutawale is on cloud 9. It’s raining Chinese Money. That is why he does not see the Debt Iceberg ahead!

  12. The body language between chiteme and the finance minister says a lot…..ministers you need to be aware of such unconscious signs that can easily be misinterpreted

  13. “…She said the country had received a lot of interest in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), particularly in the agriculture, tourism, manufacturing solar and hydro power and construction sectors….”

    That is all there is ….” intrest” while the rats were busy telling us investors will come flooding in once we build $1million/km rds……and interest is all there will be for as long as lungu keeps abusing the democratic rights of the opposition…..we told the opposition to highlight this brutality every time on the international arena…..you PF rats who think lungu can survive without aid and PF brutality goes unnoticed , you are in for a rude shock….there will be no money.

    • Lungu and his pf resident rats on LT will learn the damage lobby groups can cause to an aspiring dictator who in actual fact needs western aid and investment to survive……

      Dr Fred membe, Zambia values and needs your expertise in international media lobbying…..we salute you sir.

    • Spaka you don’t make sense. You’re always mixing issues. Even the worst dictators can receive international financial assistance. Egypt is an example. Zambia is not a strategic partner of the West so it has to struggle to get help where us Kabila of DRC can even afford to turn down some assistance. ..see bbc report of March. And why should you rejoice at our “suffering “. You should show patriotism even if HH will never be president.

    • Ndanji

      Egypt is a strategic partner that’s why they get any assistance….and no one is rejoicing at Zambians suffering then again who wants to see lungu receive western money to pay his thugs to help him brutalise the opposition ?

  14. I’m watching CNN Market Place Africa on how a Zambian company called Trade Kings started. The owner an Asian Zambian started from very humble beginnings but now covers most of SADC countries. Only a person with evil motives cannot be proud of this achievement. I wish we could emulate this citizen and better lives of our people.

    • Start emulating him now and I will celebrate you. But bear in mind that Alex Chikwanda’s fiscal irresponsibility has led to higher interest rates and higher inflation than the PF found in 2011 and this is leading to many insolvencies in the economy. Look out for court sheriffs and bailiffs’ notices in the print media. That is one of the signs of trouble. Chikwanda has left an appalling financial mess but he’s the last one to admit it. If the economy hits the skids, Chikwanda’s business interests are bound to get affected also but I doubt it he even thinks that is possible.

  15. Maybe mutware is even hiding the debt from his ministers just like his hiding his extra income from them so please forgive them as they are only reporting on what they see or are told.

  16. What I fail to understand is how the MinFin can say one thing and Fredson Yamba clearly said he was going to Washington DC to negotiate a bailout with the IMF and he was convinced it would be successful. Why shifting goal posts??

  17. Dizmo: Absolutely right. Maggie Mwanakatwe says all is well and all debt is being serviced as per T&Cs and here is Fredson Yamba saying something else. Of course this contradiction has escaped Ndanji Khakis, Thorn-in-the Flesh and Senior Citizen. Not that such things embarrass them because they are not ones to see the world that way. To them the world is flat.

  18. So we havent defaulted on paying lapgreen a court ordered payment. Mps havent defaulted on paying back momey as ordered by court. What is default in economics if not paying what is due. Oh and retirees money

    • AHHHHHHHHHH OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH AAAAAAAAAHHHHH OOOOOOOOOOOH AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA IVE CUUUUUUUUUUUUUM OHHHHHHHHH MWANAKATWE AHHHH

  19. Zambians Zambians Zambians!! I expected the comments to be well over 50 yet this is a topic that has made Zambia to be the third hungriest nation on the planet. If it was about ubuchende the comments could have been in hundreds. This government will continue borrowing for the simple reason that they have to be seen to be working. If they do not borrow bakasonta pesa come 2021?

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