Monday, February 26, 2024

Zambia’s Chinese debt stands at US$5 billion-Trevor Simumba


Trade Consultant Trevor Simumba making a presentation during the launch of his study “He Who Pays the Piper” which focuses on Chinese debt.
Trade Consultant Trevor Simumba making a presentation during the launch of his study “He Who Pays the Piper” which focuses on Chinese debt.

A study by respected International Trade Consultant Trevor Simumba has revealed that Zambia’s Chinese debt stands at close to US$5 billion and not the US$2 billion figure given by the Zambian government.

Mr Simumba disclosure is contained in his study titled “He Who Pays the Piper” which focuses on Zambia’s Chinese debt and was launched by the Center for Trade, Policy and Development (CTPD) in Lusaka on Friday.

He said the Chinese investment in many African countries including Zambia in infrastructure, natural resources and energy sectors is substantial.

Mr Simumba observed that Chinese financing and companies are responsible for ongoing construction of airports such as the new terminal at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport and the new Copperbelt airport, roads including the new Ndola-Lusaka dual carriageway, rail links including extension to TAZARA.

He stated that Chinese loans takes many forms including Commercial loans but the bulk of Chinese lending is through direct project financing either fully commercial or concessionary terms.

Mr Simumba observed that in February 2018, the Minister of Finance stated that China is a natural first creditor and accounts for 28 percent of Zambia’s debt.

He has since urged the government to immediately renegotiate its debt with China.

Mr Simumba said the IMF has warned of debt distress and that the Chinese government has signaled that it might be open to renegotiating Zambia’s debt portfolio and therefore the Zambian government must take advantage of this and seek to renegotiate its Chinese debt.

Mr. Simumba has also called for greater transparency in the the terms and structure of Chinese loans to Zambia.

He has further called for debt oversight systems to be strengthened.

Mr. Simumba has since recommended that the Ministry of Finance review and reform the ineffective debt management structure.

Zambia’s debt
Trade Consultant Trevor Simumba chats with a Chinese Economic Counsellor from the Embassy of China to Zambia
Trade Consultant Trevor Simumba chats with a Chinese Economic Counsellor from the Embassy of China to Zambia


  1. It’s not about value of debt

    What you do with the money.

    We are fine under the guidance of president Lungu.

    He has the country under control.

    Not need to panic.

    The debt is fine.

    Worry about ensuring president Lungu remains in power beyond 2021

    I hold a PhD


    • Mushota is right. How many developed countries have debts? Many of them. Zambia is underdeveloped and so we need this to build infrastructure that will bring about economic growth.

    • They’re scared to reveal exact amount borrowed from Chinese. FIC report says $1-Billion was siphoned into politicians personal accounts in 2017 alone.

      I pains me to helplessly watch our beloved country being auctioned to tu ma Chinese because of greedy PF00L Politicians.

      Our sisters, daughters are resorting to prostitution to put food on the table. Our youths start drinking tujili-jili as early as 8.00am due to unemployment.

    • Dontcare

      How many developed countries have debt ?
      You need to ask how many of those developed countries are manufacturing power houses ?? While you import everything.

    • I haven’t read anywhere in the article were it says $5bn. I was interested to see the calculations which are arriving at that figure. This is like putting wirds in trevors mouth. Maybe he never even said this.

    • Trevor Simumba your face you look like you can’t even manage yourself but busy talking about Zambia’s debt…every Jim and jack now has become an economic expert…i have noticed that alot of clowns are just doing it for the public attention…bandwagon opportunists

    • Zambia is owned by China, the know how to play the better than IMF. This debt for developmental purposes is still a curse on the Zambian economy for a forcible future. There’s so much instability in the source of Zambian government economic dependence. The corrupt practices makes it worse.

  2. PF cadres will stand dispute what Simusamba because they have been blinded by their PF idol; Under PF, Zambia is in trouble;

  3. Zambia is now a Chinese colony. They can do anything they want, even shoot striking zambian workers and nothing will happen, PF owes them too much and they will spill the beans on corruption and stealing!

  4. Lets also expand our ability to create business so that we can improve our ability to raise capital locally….but looking at the way government is managing it wont happen… will be good roads and more poverty…..

  5. Waitng to hear value of mukula tree between zed and china. Real figures not the mary tshuma child’s game of 4m dollars

  6. This shouldn’t be about how many developed nations have debt. Of course, developed nations accrue debt and they account for every penny. Under-developed nations, like Zambia, accrue debt and it is rarely accounted for properly. We need debt for our industrial and economical growth, and not to fill pockets of politicians. Why we even make a national budget beats me because we know that 60% of the budget is external-funding and at the same the country can accrue so much debt, from the same funders. It’s technically digging one hole to fill another.

  7. Another alarmist! We all know that most of the current project going on have been funded through loans, telling us about isn’t a solution. We need to encourage people to respond positively to these developments. Don’t just watch vehicles pass by your village, start mending tyres or grow veggies and sell by the roadside. See how you can benefit from the prime land created by the Toll Plazas. We need to move masses in that direction. This debt won’t be by through lamentation and alarmist statements. Wakeup and do something. Find a way to improve your life, govt has done its part

  8. Those are sustainable eg toll gates ‘ Economcol zone where factories will be producers, value added. America borrowed from China but I have nerve heard of Americans saying the are colonies of China? The only thing is zambia working culture all there what is free things go to work and contribute.

  9. The problem with lungu and his GRZ is they are very untrustfuthy ……no one trust’s them.

    Signing loans in corners and moving and selling mukula in the night when they think everyone else is sleeping….

    Lungu is indeed a corrupt theif with zero morals and integrity. Only after he leaves office will the unbelievable extent of his stealing come to light.

  10. LT, article incomplete! Headline and contents not corresponding! Where is the meat of the study and sources for the public to appreciate? With all the Chinese Construction projects going on in Lusaka alone, let alone money laundered from the same Chinese loans, $5billion could still be an understatement of the true Chinese debt! I’ll still go by credible IMF and WB estimates of around $10billion and counting! Wait until the debt sh!t hits the ceiling fan! We’ll all be in sh!t! PF owes us answers and must come out clean on this one. This is betrayal of those souls that perished fighting for this country’s independence. Senseless borrowing is the quickest way to auction the country back into slavery! Zambians are already slaves to the Chinese! Just check how Topstar is making money out…

  11. The debt is large, but please don’t copy the UK and some other countries with austerity policy. It is rubbish. Zambians, work hard and do your best. Then nobody can criticize, not even God.

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