The Zambian constitution makes it difficult to conceal debt, Mwanakatwe assures investors

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Minister of Finance Margaret Mwanakatwe
Minister of Finance Margaret Mwanakatwe

Minister of Finance Margaret Mwanakatwe has said the constitutionality of debt repayment obligations, make it difficult for the Government of Zambia to conceal any debt or to default.

“It just cannot happen,” she affirmed, and further clarified that, “the quarterly adjustments in the figures have been due to new disbursements from loans that were previously obtained and for which projects are ongoing.”

Mrs.Mwanakatwe said this when she addressed over 30 investors from Asia, The United States of America, The United Kingdom and Mainland Europe, during a Standard Chartered Bank organized investment forum held on the sidelines of the ongoing Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. The forum was held at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, yesterday afternoon in Bali.

Asked about the Chinese portion of the country’s debt portfolio, Mrs. Mwanakatwe assured the investors that the total debt owed to China was below 30% and that measures were being implemented to ensure that Zambia remained within sustainable thresholds for both domestic and foreign debt.

She informed the investors that the process of asset and liability management for the loans obtained from China, which process began during the FOCAC meeting, was now in motion.

Mrs. Mwanakatwe also indicated that the Government of Zambia is resolved in focusing on access programme financing from multilateral and bilateral partners and to a lesser extent, concessional financing, to supplement its domestic resource mobilisation drive.

The Minister affirmed that the Loans and Guarantees Authorization Act of the Republic of Zambia, currently assigns the mandate of loan contraction to the Minister of Finance, and she added that, “therefore, no Ministry or Province has been able to contract any loan without input from the treasury, my Ministry.”

The Minister also said the new mine tax regime is an initiative towards policy stabilisation and predictability for the sector.

The Minister said through several tax measures announced in 2019 National Budget Speech, domestic resource mobilisation will be strengthened to ensure that obligations such as debt servicing, and programmes related to social development and economic growth are not derailed.

She told the investors that manufacturing, the agriculture value-chain, tourism, energy development, the precious metals sub-sector, and infrastructure development through public private partnerships, offer the greatest prospects for green-field investments.

She was accompanied to the forum Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba, Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet for Finance and Economic Development Christopher Mvunga, Bank of Zambia Governor Dr. Denny Kalyalya, Ministry of Finance Permanent Secretary for Economic Management MUKULI CHIKUBA, and Ministry of National Development Planning Permanent Secretary Chola Chabala.

As part of the day’s events, the delegation also attended the launch of the Africa Financial Markets Index, the 2018 Commonwealth Finance Minister’s Meeting, The IMF Africa Group One Constituency Meeting, and the closed door IMF briefing on economic developments in sub-Saharan Africa for Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors.

Issued by:

Chileshe Kandeta

For Ministry of Finance

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36 COMMENTS

    • Meantime reports are emerging that Mr. Lungu is buying a new presidential jet fitted with advanced anti-missile systems. For what? When we are almost facing debt distress? When civil servants haven’t been paid? When council workers are not being paid? When students are not being paid and killed? When you are freezing salary adjustments for civil servants and hiking your own.
      This is why I keep saying, supporters of Lungu you make us wonder whether its because you benefit from his corruption.

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    • The problem is not the constitution per say, but the people who are supposed to abide by it. If EL can refuse to handover power when the petition was lodges as per the constitution, what guarantee is that anyone under him will respect it?

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    • Madam Minister, PF only refers to the constitution selectively and conveniently. If you were committed to the constitutionality, the public order act could not have been a source of politically induced conflict and ECL could not have been dreaming of being a president up to 2026.

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    • Debt is nothing to be afraid of or ashamed of as a nation! The U.S., the most industrialised country has debt in trillions of dollars. Let’s develop this this! It is UNELECTABLE! We are doing great. No need to appologise to anyone especailly to those who have MAD COW DISEASE.

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  1. Are you sure madam minister, even these loans you guys are getting from China, why don’t you then publish the terms of all these unaudited loans that you have acquired from China, secondly you could not even provide a conclusive figure of the monies borrowed, the problem is you are forever drunk and no one can take you seriously. Anything to do with you guys is questionable to much bukabolala

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  2. Well If we had decent human beings that respected the constitution, that would be a valid point. But what we have is a group of men and women that have shown ZERO respect for the constitution on multiple occasions. The supreme law of Zambia is the interests of those in power. That’s what Zambia has become under Mr. Lungu’s PF.

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  3. How much has govt spent , these trips trying to hoodwink investors, we have huge entourages going to Turkey, china, mukwita’s german and sweden, all we see is chinese at soweto market selling broiler chickens.

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  4. The three biggest tragedies in Zambia’s political history.
    1. Mwanawasa refusal to stand for president in 1991. This gave us Chiluba
    2. Mwanawasa dies in power. This gave us Rupiah Banda
    3. Sata dies in power. This gave us Lungu

    What more must we endure please? Tragedy after tragedy. Whenever the country seems to be making some steps in the right directions, some lunatic just comes up and messes everything up

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    • I agree apart from 3.Sata is the architect of this lunacy,he is the one who was gifted with surrounding himself with low calibre people.
      My only regret for his death is that i cant ask him”..who is the real cabbage?”

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    • SHARON. SIR, please dont post statements that you dont understand because it shows that you are not educated which automatically puts in pf where such people are found. The statement which you copied from the internet and posted here ……”The U.S., the most industrialised country has debt in trillions of dollars”……… means that that as the most industrialised nation it’s also the wealthiest. Meaning as wealthy nation, USA has capacity to pay its debt while your pf govt has no capacity to pay the debt they are creating. which is why normal people are worried because your govt is simply copying from what usa is doing without an understanding of the underlying economics . In simple terms think of the richest man who borrows trillions and an unemployed pf chap who borrows millions…

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    • In the first place mmd eco policies were (still remains) on the continent. MMD put the country’s eco back on trail eco growth, building infrastructure with govts own resources without resorting to overborrowing. 2. During MMD tenure the Govt managed to pay back outstanding foreign and local debt which the UNIP Govt build to less than US $1.2bn, a manageable figure (some debt were forgiven). All in all the MMD new too well what they where doing. Finally, your mention of MMD leadership in negative shows how shallow you understand zambian politics.

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  5. The Chief Government spokesperson is on record advocating for “government” not to get permission from parliament (or anyone) when contracting debt. Perhaps this was a signal that some laws have already been broken in an effort to under-report the current debt levels! Ubupuba nabucilamo!!!

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  6. This drunkard Maggie is talking as if they even respect the constitution…even IMF computer couldn’t add up the numbers only a foooool can trust these thieves at his own privy. In this govt a Grade 12 cadre like Munir Zulu is so powerful that civil servants have to get permission from him to discipline a junior …even the Party SG is powerless against the boy Munir.

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  7. flag Alternative Facts Fake News S**thole Countries Social Mobility Chinese Zambia Police Reservists Corruption scandals: Ambulances Fire Trucks Mukula Trees Ndola-Lusaka Rd Malawi Maizegate Fuelgate Swaziland landgate Zesco Loans

    Yeah right, you mean the Constitution that you respect and uphold to the zenith level. Of course! (pun intended).

    So who monitors and enforces repercussions when this Constitution gets abrogated? I mean in unlikely event that the Constitution is violated… unlikely of course!

    Negro please talk about something else, not the Constitution or if you have nothing meaningful to say please shut up and sit down!

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  8. Look at this woman’s face and that of Nkandu Luo on the next poicture, this is what gives credence to the believe that Zambian women especially those from a certain part of the country are generally ugly beasts, they give full credence to the notion that us humans are descended from apaes. Anyway, its the monkeys they are they are taking after aesthetically.

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    • These people have no shame …they steal donor funds then replace it with Students allowances and Lecturers salaries after two weeks then state that it was there sitting in ZANACO account without showing statements …to these thieves a constitution is like a manifesto ..worthless!!

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  9. No amount of sugar coating will hide the foul stink of debt the Pf government has landed this country in. At this stage and rate you have over – borrowed you will never inspire an investor to put money in your kawalala administration. You can sing the best song from the mountain top to extol the positives of Zambia, the truth remains that you a very corrupt, thieving and inept government. The evidence is right there for he world to see!

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  10. The issue is not about concealing the debt, the problem is on expenditure of the money the government has obtained, the inflated costs attached to Chinese loans such as the Lusaka/Ndola carriage way. You can not hide the debt because the owners of the money you have borrowed will always remind you to pay back and everyone will eventually know.

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  11. Norwegian taxpayers want a refund of money paid to help those in need in Zambia because they did not donate to purchase planes of that amount. Zambians want a refund because they do not agree with K32 million contract being given to Chinese for 4km of road and all the other bogus expenditures. This nonsense will stop because planes can be hacked to go down and Chinese shops can and have been looted. This is Zambia and our ancestors did not struggle and die for our freedom for thieves. Foreign Investment based on mutual respect and equal profit sharing welcome. All others who come with their hidden agenda will learn the hard way. Shame PF ministers don’t ask their predecessors what they and their families and associates went through after they left power but they too will learn. We have…

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  12. All the above blogs are negative – that is a typical Zambian — highly negative, lazy and complete lack of self confidence, but mourning everyday about the country being taken over by foreigners.

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  13. Unfortunately the constitution is hardly followed. The constitution says no spending unless budgeted for by parliament but we spend without approval. The constitution says only notify the police when holding a rally but this time we need permission. The constitution says no third term but here someone is already planning for 2021. Abash the constitution.

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  14. Ha!, ha!, ha!
    Ba P.F Chabe’, kaya??
    In Maggie Whiskey’s entourage P.F even have a chap called “(Mukuli Chikuba)”, simply – REMINDING DOCILE ZAMBIANS – (TIKALI KUBA TILL 2021).
    Ni Dununa fye’!!

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  15. And yet you and your partners in crime have proceeded as though you can conceal the stealing that has been going on. You are only fooling yourselves, as you continue to bury your heads in the sand. The day of reckoning is at hand. You are known the world over as thieves in the first order!

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