The Ministry of Finance says the country has not defaulted on any foreign debt including Eurobond interest payments and does not intend to do so whatsoever.
Reacting to a report by Eurasia Group, an entity that publishes analyses on politics that Zambia may be facing fiscal challenges and is likely to default starting in 2019, the Ministry of Finance says there is no room for default.
In a statement made available to Q-news, ministry of finance public relations officer Chileshe Kandeta says the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), covering projections on all economic and fiscal numbers over a three-year horizon, also provides a projection of fiscal operations and debt service.
Mr Kandenta states that the issue of debt from China has been grossly misrepresented; stressing that the fact is that Zambia has contracted both concessional and commercial debt from the world’s second biggest economy and has not defaulted on any.
He further states that the implementation of an Asset Liability Management Strategy on Zambia’s Eurobonds and for the loans from China is a prudent option that is open to the country and would be undertaken as when the need and opportunity arises.
On Eurasia Group associating the IMF programme with electoral pressures, Mr Kandeta says the ministry is not aware of the pressures that are being referred to and that neither has any cooperating partner or investor communicated such to them.
He says government expenditure is focused on normal developmental programs contained in the Seventh National Development Plan that has all the details on the projects being undertaken.
Regarding the engagement of the International Monetary Fund,Mr Kandeta says government has never back peddled, stating that the Minister of Finance has reiterated her commitment to the programme and to creation of a platform under which the engagement with the IMF will be advanced.
He says it is in this regard that a full Debt Sustainability Analysis (DSA) whose results are now being finalized was undertaken.
Mr Kandeta says Cabinet will be briefed on the outcomes of the exercise and on the executive decisions that are required to be undertaken to successfully finalise the engagement with the Fund.