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Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Government used NAPSA funds to pay February delayed salaries-Africa Confidential

Headlines Government used NAPSA funds to pay February delayed salaries-Africa Confidential

Zambia's Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe
Zambia’s Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe

The respected UK based investigative publication Africa Confidential has claimed that the Zambian government raised the country’s largest pensions fund NAPSA to pay delayed February salaries for civil servants.

In its latest publication, Africa Confidential claims in an article titled Treasury in the red that Zambia’s liquidity problems are getting worse and that state assets are looking more likely as a last repairs to avoid debt default.

It reported, “The lavish spending and borrowing of President Edgar Lungu’s government is starting to catch up with it. Africa Confidential has learned that in March, it had to raid the state pension fund, the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA), to pay overdue February salaries for public service employees.

“While the ruling Patriotic Front continues to deny that its debt burden poses any problem, alarm has been growing in financial circles. Standard Bank, which trades as Stanbic in Zambia and is a significant lender, has warned in a report titled ‘Déjà vu’ that the government is facing an imminent liquidity crisis.”

It added, “Of key concern are the foreign reserves. The government began the year with a little over US$1.5 billion in reserves, only slightly more than the $1.4bn of budgeted debt repayments. Central Bank data shows that last year, it paid almost all its external debt service and some domestic debt from the reserves, totalling almost $1bn.”

The last officially reported figure for the reserves, in January, was $1.45bn.

Now, Standard Bank says further repayments could have brought that down to $1.1bn, potentially falling to $1bn by June, based on its conversations with the Central Bank.

Central Bank Governor Denny Kalalya admitted in February that the fall in reserve levels was ‘a matter of great concern’ but after its recent visit, Standard Bank remarked that there was ‘strangely…hardly any discussion of any policy measures being taken to end the erosion of external buffers’ and that any ‘plan to quell this persistent drain’ was ‘conspicuously lacking.’

Africa Confidential says the government has again underestimated the cost of debt service, which has risen because of unexpected loan disbursements and a weakened currency.

The budget assumed an exchange rate of 10.5 kwacha to the dollar, but this is now ZK12.5 and is likely to rise further, making it more expensive to buy dollars needed to repay debts.

At the same time, the government is struggling to raise credit domestically as market confidence plummets, leading to
further shortfalls in budget funding.

Ministry insiders say the government was relying on $750m of external financing that is unlikely to materialise.

Zambia’s recent failure to pay its $14.8m share of costs for the Kazungula bridge, which will link Botswana and Zambia, demonstrates the severity of the cash shortage.

On 18 March contractor Daewoo suspended works, and after Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi visited Lungu on 2 April it appears Botswana may pay Zambia’s share.

The government is also reportedly struggling to pay Chinese road contractors, leading to suspension of works.

The government has been quietly examining the possibility of borrowing up to $3.25bn to fund roads, domestic debt repayments and the health service, we understand from senior officials.

Standard Bank’s team say that asset sales are now the most likely means of raising cash – something that the government has hitherto denied. ‘This was the first time that we heard policymakers raising the possibility of asset sales to repay maturing debts,’ reported Standard Bank.

Standard Bank also said that little, if anything, was being done to restructure Chinese debt. The same admission was made at the International Monetary Fund Spring meetings in Washington DC in April, say investors who were in attendance.

Senior civil servants tell AC that some of the talks with China resulted from Exim Bank sending a delegation to Zambia two months ago to demand overdue payments to Chinese contractors.

Insiders say that the 15% down-payments Zambia was supposed to contribute to the capital for Chinese projects were borrowed but not always paid in full to contractors as intended.

April has been awash with bad news, including the IMF’s forecast of lower growth of 2.9% next year and rising inflation.

At a poll taken on 24 April at an IMF meeting in Lusaka with industry, almost half those in attendance believed the government would default on sovereign debt this year.

The seriousness of the situation is finally dawning on the government, sources in Lusaka say, although it may be too late


    • You haven’t seen anything yet ….
      We keep telling this government to put strong austerity measures. Come up with proper fiscal policies to curb the appetite for borrowing, cleanup the procurement system and stop inflating tenders. This has all been ignored.
      You haven’t seen anything yet.

    • I’am asking all Tongas and Indians holding money in their pillows and ceiling boards to offload it on the market. Things will change. Ministers with trunks of dollars should also be arrested and this time we ask powers that be not to intervene.

    • Can either Dora Siliya (The Government Spokes Person) or Mrs Mwanakatwe ( Finance Minister ) respond to these claims before we indulge in further comments.

    • Not new. Sounds like the story I read 5 to 6 months, if not 1 to 2 years ago.
      According to from AC to Moody to Bloomberg; or Moody, AC, Bloomberg; or Bloomberg, Moody, AC.
      Circles and circles.
      Economy is good, Economy is bad.
      We told you so.
      Government borrowing too much.
      UPNDEAD supporters go, YEAH! We told you so. Like deva vu itself. Hehehehehe!
      We’ve been rolling.
      So let’s roll.

    • Look at JUNIOR you would think he learns anything from his travels…I presume you are in Japan, go and ask them how they got to where they are? Its certainly not reciting folly everyday.

    • These AC guys are a bunch of morons and the only way this would even make any sense is if they reported how many times this year alone the US Treasury dipped into the US Social Security Trust Account for stop gap funding.

      Otherwise, if the smart people of the Zambian Enterprise did something similar then it’s a scandal and/or news worthy all of a sudden is just blatant hypocrisy.

      Kiss my #####!!!! Tweende mwandi, Margaret, tweende webo. Make sure everyone gets paid using whatever means necessary. You did a heck of a job here!!!

      Epo mpelele,


    • @Gay Gay … you are still running your mouth and I run this country. I made sure everyone got paid in a week and you????

      Uli ndwiiii … go figure!!! As for the Japanese, they had a head start with $200 Billion available to them for reconstruction after WWII.

      Soft loans with marginal interest rates in some cases those loans were wiped out … that’s how the 40 year miracle (1945 to 1985) happened and they became the world 2nd largest economy.

      In your case, Margaret has to make 4 trips to Washington DC just to justify here need for a parity $1.5 Billion balance of payment support.

      Everything is rigged against Africa, sit down!!!

      Epo mpelele,


    • Really laughable LT has given you keys to thumbs up for self promotion you assume you run the country….sit down silly little man!!

    • @Thorn in the Flesh … ala walasa mwana wesu!!! Low life, low libido, low IQ, low energy, low class. Kuti waseka.

      @Gay Gay … clueless, as per usual!!! You and Spooked are the laughing stock of the NOT SO Great Britain’s damping ground of inferior products.

      Superior products remain at home most times, not all exports are of high quality and you are prime examples of such … what low life scums you are.

      Shut up and sit down, please!!! Please sit down and others roll …

      Epo mpelele,


    • @Gay Gay … I have no clue what you are talking about. Does it have something to do with inferior brains damped in the UK???

      Please help me understand … Sancho!!!

      Epo mpelele,



    • JUNIOR dont bring your nonsense you have with UK govt to LT…we know you trying to bait us into a silly debate, no one is falling for your folly….silly little man!

    • NOSILVERLININGINSIGHT – You asking the wrong person…really laughable …these are the managers of defunct Meridian BIO who ransacked poor people’s savings account…I mean my neighbour a grown man was crying like a toddler when that bank closed because his wife also banked there, they lost everything!!

    • @jayjay
      What is shocking about PF government, I thought you were clever and educated??, go and play in the mud, you will be clean

    • @NOSILVERLININGINSIGHT … 66% of the smart people of the Zambian Enterprise is below the age of 25, 78% below the age of 35 and with retirement age above 60 the marginal age is an extra 25 years from today.

      The NAPSA Trust Account has billions of dollars in reserve and its not going bankrupt and no one is stealing from the fund. These are stop gap funding measures that happen even in the USA. Nothing new here, so please chill because everything is gonna be alright!!!

      @Gay Gay … to all your lows we are adding “low historic perspective” to the list. The great Meridian BIAO Bank was a casualty of FTJ’s politics.

      I am proud to say I was part of the team that ran one of the best capitalized and managed indigenous banks in the world.

    • People will say anything. Guys; 1: NAPSA does not have billions of dollars. It actually does little to control for inflation in making its payment. Transparency at NAPSA has been lacking for years. 2: Debt crisis is real. While we can pretend to debate it in exchange for favor with those in power, we cannot pretend that calling someone gay, “low libido” etc is acceptable language in debating substance that will surely affect millions of citizens. Grow up bane. Stand with your people. A significant proportion of them continue to leave in the kind of poverty that would make Adolf Hitler cringe. And that man hated Africans. Yet we celebrate when we steal from our on and have them living like Hitler would have predicted they leave, well, because it allows some of us to enjoy the looted spoils…

  1. A useless organisation of course sponsored by discredited African Inferiority complex individuals… What is important is that the salaries were paid and you have nothing to write about…Where money was gotten whether from Napsa as you allege or from taxes is none of your business

    • When you read that respected UK paper just know that it was written by UPND sycophants and zealots and enemies of progress who are into group think mentality who worship their Supreme leader HH and foreigners because they suffer from acute inferiority complex…

    • I bet you don’t even work in formal employment to understand the ramifications of this report

  2. Gulf Stream “Ferrari in the sky” fitted with a Champagne bar, Beds, & Anti missile technology has finally caught up!
    But don’t worry Zambians, Maggie Whiskey Tells us Gold, Copper, Mukula -Rosewood, will bail us out, so “worry not children”.

    • UB 40, sang the song, “There’s Rats in my Kitchen, what am I gonna do”??

  3. The garden is now barren. The thieves looked the green fruit and dug up the roots. Tinamuuzyani taxi sintani kuba a mambala. Onani manje.

    • They didn’t look the fruits iwe ka autocorrect! They LOOTED it .. Tinati sintani kuba!!! Autocorrect is on the side of the looters. Yayi shuwa

  4. Such stories are not new. We have heard before that government salaries for this and this month have been paid by Zesco

  5. Morons like Mwanakatwe have no clout of what it takes to run that ministry and later alone positively influence the economy. You vote for clueless cannons and you expect them to prudently run the economy? With 73% of government revenue going towards debt repayment another 22% to pay civil servants only 5% remains for social and other sectors, this is a travesty and all those involved in looting our resources belong to jail and nothing less.

    • And, who will jail these daytime robbers? Army is in league with the robbers. Zambia is a dead country. Chinese Vultures are roaming over the dead body, time to die peacefully.

  6. There’s nothing wrong if govt has intention of paying back the internal debt to NAPSA. This does not mean the whole wage bill was financed by borrowing, when there’s shortfall, this practice is normal. This happens especially when ZRA does not meet the collection target in a given month.

    • Correctly observed but for group think mentality of typical UPND sycophants and zealots and enemies of progress, they cannot understand those dynamics

    • GRZ has been struggling to pay wages for months, one month they borrowed from NEPSA , where will they get the money to pay for future months ???

    • Nope, it’s not a good idea to borrow from NAPSA, and you don’t have to be UPND to understand this.
      Normal and standard countries are always making it a priority to ensure that there is money for pensions. It’s only in Zambia, where you borrow from where you need that money most, meanwhile, you don’t pay the pensioners, and you come here and say its a good idea? Nope !!
      You gotta understand, this is trouble, which you created for those pensioners.

    • Just shocking no wonder this country has gone to the dogs …no fiscal know how its hand to mouth sick mindset

  7. The author of the article is biased and represents capitalist interests. These kind of authors will never say anything positive about African led governments. NEVER. They always find something negative and generalise it to the entire African continent. Sadly this happens all the time. Ain’t these the same people that pressurised KK’s goverment to remove mealie meal subsidies that sparked food riots in 1986? Ain’t these the same people that connived with our local businessmen to pressure Chiluba’ s governments to sell ZCCM as a single entity? Chiluba resisted this move.

  8. Today, the Bank is buying the USD at K12.8/$ and selling and K13/$. Things are not fine bane. This is not politicking. This is real!

    • In the same period the South African Rand ZAR has depreciated from 13.3 in February to 14.5 now due to the strengthening of the USD. Don’t mislead the people that the ZMW is underperforming due to its own volition but due to all the Zambians being importers and not exporters to earn the dollar.

    • …and then the world will end. Or Zambia will fold up like a non profitable firm.
      Useless rants.
      “We told you so”
      Keep telling us so.
      We heard and we’re still hearing.

    • ba Thorn you and your leaders are just dull and yes we will continue telling you clueless m0r0ns so. Twits.

    • Dudelove
      I love you man.
      Don’t let BP whack you off.
      Rolling we are but you’re worrying to much. Watch out, Diabetes likes depressed whiners.
      Roll with us.
      I started hearing of Zambias economic woes since KK. We got whacked by the infamous Structural Adjustment Program SAP in which some current politician amassed huge dollaz. LPM or imperialists squeezed our belts in a humiliating HIPC project where LPM earned a Kwacha/Dollar glory or legacy. We’ve been rolling all the damn time.

  9. Sovereign debt will not bring the Government down as long as peace prevails. The Zambian Government will find it expensive to borrow but will borrow nevertheless. There is always someone out there willing to lend to a peaceful nation at a ‘good’ price. So, lets not get our ‘knickers’ twisted about Sovereign debt, its all politics. Sovereign Risk ranks very low on a Bond Dealer’s Risk Assessment for a country like Zambia.

  10. I can say

    “We told you so……”

    For those in diaspora with financial muscle, don’t buy any plots of land now, wait ,things are about to get real bad for our country.

    Expect people to be selling land very cheap as the economy bites , and bite real hard it will

    • “….I have head that “we told you so” since August 12, 2016..”

      What was the exchange rate in August 2016 ? Half of what it is now ???

      What was the price meal meal in Aug 2016 ?? Half the price it is now ??

      What was were the foringe reserves like then compared to now ??

      Hehehehe …….sontapoooooo

    • “….I have head that “we told you so” since August 12, 2016..”

      What was the exchange rate in August 2016 ? Half of what it is now ???

      What was the price meal meal in Aug 2016 ?? Half the price it is now ??

      What was were the foringe reserves like then compared to now ??

      Hehehehe …….sontapoooooo…..ooooo

    • Yes we told you so and things are not improving. Why say it like since the last time we told you things have changed for the better?

    • Thorn,
      Because your belly is full, you decided to ignore the 95% of the Zambians who are leading a much more misery life since 2016.
      You can’t ignore that fact and come here to say “….I have head that “we told you so” since August 12, 2016..”.
      You don’t care just as your masters….

  11. In Zambia we don’t seem to learn. We have all sorts of scoundrels in this government. Signs are there and we the ordinary citizens are feeling the impact. The challenge is that we seem to deny the truth and are not ashamed to do so.
    The director of Meridian, among them Andrew Sardanis, Lawrence Sikutwa, Faustina Kabwe and others ended up rich men and stated companies such as access financial services, Madison, chaminuk etc..Zambians never learn from their mistakes.

  12. is there a problem for us to get paid from napsa money, kikiki, we starve while money is there.
    even in our homes we do divert funds to priorities.

  13. We seem to support dishonest and not long ago someone blatantly lied that Chiluba closed Meridian Bank when we have all the information. Even Sardanis admitted they had a problem.
    A lack of liquidity had dogged the group from its early days and Mr Sardanis admitted, “our problem has always been a shortage of capital”. The liquidity problem appears to have been compounded by the 1991 merger, and well informed sources have indicated funds were taken from the more profitable banks in English-speaking Africa to shore up less profitable operations in francophone countries. The group also cited the 1994 CFA franc devaluation and high integration costs as another source of its problems. With all this information wrong or right some will tell you there is nothing wrong. Welcome to Zambia.

  14. I hope it ws not Chiluba who closed the bank in Swaziland like someone tried to lie. Do we even have shame in Zambia? Instead of correcting our wrongs, we are so shameless to defend the wrongs and lie that everything is OK. It was in Swaziland that the next signs of trouble appeared when the local Meridien BIAO with three branches and a representative office in Johannesburg, ran into liquidity problems. The Central Bank simply took over the management of the group. There was no indication at that stage how serious the problems in Swaziland were later to prove for the group as a whole.
    I’m worried for my contribution to NAPSA and we may end up like our friends who suffered at Meridian.

  15. Even in Kenya was it Chiluba who closed the bank. Please allow my uncle to rest in peace and stop accusing him of wrongs. I was very upset when I ready about this by one of the liars on line.
    Days later Kenyan authorities shut down Meridien BIAO in Nairobi citing large foreign exchange exposure positions, but the biggest blow came two weeks later when Central Bank authorities in Zambia, where the group was started and was now headquartered finally decided to take over Meridien BIAO Bank Zambia, split it from the rest of the Meridien BIAO group and appointed Mr John Cruickshank, a former senior partner at KPMG in Zambia as interim Chairman.

  16. LUNGU-MUST-GO. There is no reason to keep him because he is a liability.

    Let us try this same hh maybe and lets hope he wont be tribal because that’s the biggest threat. TRIBALISM


    • Politico

      Put country before tribe……I am not a Tonga, infact I am an easterner like lungu, kwa madede…..

      But looking at people’s cvs, HH stands a better chance of turning this country around

  17. We know that NAPSA, ZESCO and other parastatals can’t run profitably because they are cash cows for the financially indisciplined few running our national affairs!
    Failure to run an economy sensibly is enough grounds to change government! I pray these mongrels don’t resort to printing money otherwise we are finished! The only solution is to fire PF and its Lungu! They have failed! Albert Enstein said You cannot solve a problem using the same minds that created the problem!

  18. The debt den is a necessity for life. Challenging and prickly to manage. So far so good and even tomorrow.

    Only Deja Vu here is that this article is regurgitated from various negative articles that failed to gain traction and gain UPND seats. What people see and voted for is progress. Rosy numbers and awards without progress went with MMD. Seems the arm of it swallowed by UPND is inept. They will reap the whirlwind of their scaremongering. Now, there is joy everywhere that child goes all the way through to Grade 9 coz of enough classrooms increasing prospects of appreciating the need to plant the better seed and dip animals to prevent denkede. That grows the economy to repay debt and continue dooming the gloom of Satanists.

  19. UK based. And zambians are busy praising such organisations which would want to manipulate the mases into believing. Sad. These organisations are just interested in our wealth.

    • I agree these institutions serve their masters, IMF President must be European (French to be specific) and World Bank President is reserved for an American

    • Look at these people, 50 years after independence snd you are still blaming white imperalists ????

      Dumb a.sses , take responsibility for your nonsense.

      Who in his right mind allows his wife to go and spend $1 million GRZ money to go a view donated 2nd hand fire trucks worth $50,000 ?


    • And yet the above two FIRST 2 chimps above are supposed to be the cream of the Zambian educated elites.

      Believers of conspiracy theories, to every bad, they think the developed countries are having board room meetings strategizing on how to steal wealth from Zambia.

  20. Akulasanikwa nga abantu tabasalile ubu ubuteko. You can’t just wake up and say I want to be a president you need people who had a plan before. That was too sudden, imfwa yaba Sata, to even think of looking after a country with 17 million people. No wonder you don’t like Prof Lumumba. Wish you heard how he praised magufuli “Mugurificating” Africa. Look out for that clip on FB

    • That can’t work as long as clueless Chagwa remains in charge! The trouble with Chagwa is that he is not humble enough to listen to good advice! He has more affinity for bad company and bad advice! Just look at his so called advisors he has surrounded himself with. What good can come from Kaizer, Smiler Sikazwe, Mwanakatwe the drunk, Lusambo the hacker, etc – nothing progressive from the current crop! Kulyafye Mwibala!

    • Peter Magande and Levy Mwanawasa were over-glorified due to the fact that Zambians don’t read global economic trends but want to always rely on hearsay. There is an English adage which goes, “Being in the right place at the right time and saying the right things will make you look smart”. This really worked true for Peter and Levy.

    • Ni ndalama zake…..alipila TAX and he is paying for his pension.
      But iwe, ndiwe, kaponya siulipila TAX and therefore you don’t understand the connection. Too complex for you, mwana

    • Pensions are being delayed hence our concern.
      The increase of retirement is all due to lack funds.
      The stealing of current government is beyond any sane or insane being

  21. When a Pilot survives after crashing a plane that kills people, and if it is established that they were extremely negligent, they are charged with criminal negligence and are liable to a lengthy jail term. Similarly, we need to enact a similar law for those who just want public office for selfish interests but don’t have what it takes to run a small economy! When an economy crashes, the casualties are too many! Some commit suicide for failing to cope! It’s time we start charging failed leaders while in office! That way, chancers will stay clear of public office and only people who have what it takes to look after people will carry the day!

  22. Who told you Africa Confidential is a respected news outlet? They get the news from rumour mongers and publish it.

  23. When we fail to accept our shortcomings many people suffer. Rumours about closure of Meridian Bank was denied in certain sections of our society citing political interference that Chiluba had a hand in the closure of Meridian Bank. Did Chiluba close the branch in Tanzanian?
    Conspiracy or not, Tanzania was the next country where authorities took over the running of Meridien BIAO. In the last week of April, the board of Meridien BIAO met in Paris along with several of the group’s country managers, summoned to the meeting to give a detailed breakdown of the liquidity situation in their respective countries.

  24. It correct to say the Zambian economy for sometime now hasn’t been performing well. Largely because of a wrongly negotiated funding model for robust infrastructure program and also the performance of Honorable ABC in relation to the acquisition of the Euro bonds…it’s cost and application has done catastrophic damage to the Zambian economy and the country is battling to recover.
    It’s also important to recognize the negative effect on the Zambian economy that is being perpetuated by mercinaries.
    To appreciate this article you should take time to orient yourselves to the operations Freemasonry and it’s appetite for Zambia. Sadly the door was widely open for one of our own Anderson K. Mazoka and later passed the button to his own son HH.

  25. This Government is not learning from what’s happening in other countries like Sudan where the president and his cabinet were sent to Jail for the same reason the PF government is managing the economy misusing funds for personal interest. And then we have people like B R Mumba, Sr who seem to be educated ( is it because you are living abroad that you don’t care about Zambia) but his comments are so illiterate. How do you fix imbroglio if you ignoring the truth. Guys politics aside the country is being destroyed by these Morons, and you want to support blindly. Cadres behave like a wife who sees her husband sleeping with his own daughter and she decided to keep quiet because she is scared that he is going to divorce her. Why!

  26. @Spaka @ Jay Jay
    These Africa Confidential “morons”, Babylonians and fake news purveyors and we UPND cadres are a freaking disgraceful lot. Can you imagine that there is plenty of money at NAPSA to pay civil servants and post office workers at least K500 each to palliate their pain and some people can complain! Imagine hey, the Kwacha is bullish against the dollar (it has gained K12.95/green leaf) and now ZESCO has asked ERB to raise tariffs for the good of Zambia and people are complaining? What lack of patriotism is this? Oh yea let’s roll as Maggie does her own thing. The Chinese are our “all-weather” friends and whew! more money in our pockets! What a great time to be a citizen of Zambia! Enjoy buddies, the chickens are gonna “git” home to roost, ma men!

  27. You are now getting the gist, that “ruling a country is not child’s play”. Zambia’s eco is now in free fall thanks to you zambians.

  28. Unfortunately there’s only 2 people to blame, the citizen of Zambia and ECL. We knew his incompetence yet was voted in. He has continued stealing as if there’s no tomorrow for the grandkids. This is new Uganda. Mseveni or should I say Mueighti in making

  29. Let all those bloggers who don’t believe this story wait, your thinking is antiquated, you are only fit to be in a Museum. Cyclone DEBT DEFAULT is coming, my brothers never trust politicians, one their qualifications is lying. This not about ECL (an employee) or HH (aspiring employee), this is about Zambia. The clock is ticking, the good thing about lies is you are caught up in a web soon or later. Mushota has seen the red light, She is not stupid!

  30. “The seriousness of the situation is finally dawning on the government, sources in Lusaka say, although it may be too late…”

    President Lungu dies not behave like one who knows any crisis. He recently promised no more delayed salaries for civil servants and he keeps talking PF development agenda, a term for continued spending of what he does not even have. But what he do? PF existence is based on building roads every day whether contractors are paid or not.

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