Chief Government Spokesperson, Dora Siliya has refuted social media reports circulating that the International Monetary Fund -IMF- has withdrawn from Zambia.
Ms Siliya says contrary to the reports, the IMF has not withdrawn, and its team is still in the country for various programmes.
She however explained that the IMF has just withdrawn the Resident Representative in Zambia, Alfredo Baldini, adding that the IMF will soon send a replacement.
Ms Siliya, who is also Information Minister, has added that Finance Minister, Margaret Mwanakatwe will issue a detailed statement on the matter this week-end.
And the Ministry of Finance has issued the Statement below
IMF RESIDENT OFFICE IN ZAMBIA REMAINS OPEN
A statement was this morning issued to Bloomberg News by the OUTGOING IMF RESIDENT REPRESENTATIVE IN ZAMBIA, Dr. ALFREDO BALDINI. Following the same, the Ministry of Finance has received numerous calls from members of the general public and the business community seeking clarification on the status of the country’s relationship with the IMF.
First and foremost, our relationship with the FUND IS HEALTHY AND INTACT and the IMF Resident Office in Zambia will remain operational beyond the tour of duty of Dr. Baldini, who has been recalled by the IMF in Washington for redeployment. His departure at the end of the month [August 2018], DOES NOT entail the closure of the Resident Office. To clarify this, the Fund has communicated to the Ministry that a new IMF Resident Representative will be sent to Zambia for duty.
As Government, we feel duty bound to restate that our country is a shareholder and, therefore, a member of the IMF. To this extent, an IMF Staff Mission will be coming in the third quarter for ARTICLE 4 Consultations.
Besides this, the Government of Zambia is taking measures to strengthen the implementation of the Medium Term Debt Management Strategy. The prior actions required to facilitate the recommencement of discussions for an IMF Supported Programme are duly being attended as we simultaneously continue with our country initiated austerity, stabilisation, and growth measures.
We take this opportunity to state that we are receiving a lot of support and encouragement from Cooperating Partners, many of whom have pledged support for both the Economic Stabilisation and Growth Programme and the Seventh National Development Plan. We are grateful to them as we are to the people of Zambia who have taken the reforms in their stride.
In conclusion, we thank Dr. Baldini for his service in Zambia, especially for supporting and facilitating training programme for economists in the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Zambia. We wish him the best in his future endeavours.
For Ministry of Finance
Friday, 24th August, 2018