The United Party for National Development (UPND) has said that it is perturbed by the decision of President Edgar Lungu to send five cabinet Ministers to China to hold discussions with Chinese authorities and financiers on Zambia’s debt.
UPND Spokesperson Charles Kakoma said that this was not a wise decision to on one hand try to save the little resources for operations and on the other hand send five ministers who will be entitled to allowances,lodging, airfares and upkeep in that country in addition to people who will accompany them.
Mr Kakoma said that Zambia has a fully fledged embassy in China which can be delegated to deal with the matter and advised the Government to send only the Finance Minister for the undertaking to be assisted by the embassy staff.
Mr Kakoma further said that the UPND feels the PF government is not serious about the measures they announced through Finance Minister Margret Mwanakatwe to cut government expenditure.
Meanwhile, Center for Trade Policy and Development (CTPD) Executive Director, Isaac Mwaipopo has said that while the decision to send a delegation of Ministers to China to discuss the restructuring program of Zambia’s debt is welcome, the delegation is too much.
Mr Mwaipopo reminded the government of the need to be mindful of the numbers of Ministers and other Government officials making international trips on government expense.
Mr Mwaipopo said that two Ministers from Finance and Foreign Affairs with a few technocrats could be sent on the mission to China.
Mr Mwaipopo said that the decision to send the delegation to discuss the debt restructuring program is welcome considering that 30 percent of Zambia’s external debt is owed to China.
Mr Mwaipopo said that this serves as an acknowledgement on the part of the government of the growing debt problem.