Sunday, April 14, 2024

Covid-19 has messed up 2020 budget- Dr Ng’andu


Finance Minister Dr Bwalya Ng’andu has admitted that the 2020 national budget will need to be revised.

Dr Ng’andu said Covid-19 has caused a government financing gap of at least 20 billion Kwacha ($1.09 billion) to 29 billion Kwacha this year which accounts for as much 40% of planned revenue.

In an interview in Kitwe on Monday, Dr Ng’andu also admitted that Zambia was “over ambitious” with its borrowing.

He said Zambia is seeking to restructure its debt after years of “over-ambition” in borrowing to plug an infrastructure deficit.

Dr Ng’andu said Zambia has stopped taking on new commercial debt and is seeking to cancel some loans that it’s contracted but not yet received.

He said the country also aims to restructure loans already disbursed as the government strives to achieve debt sustainability that would allow it to tap emergency financing from the International Monetary he said.

He also referred to restructuring to describe what the government has so far called a “liability management exercise” of its external debt.

The Finance Ministry is seeking financial advisers for this process, which will include all of Zambia’s external debt.

“There was an over-ambition in terms of borrowing,” he said. When asked if the nation’s debt was unsustainable, Dr Ng’andu said “everybody knows that.” The Finance ministry knows that.”

He said the Ministry has written to lenders with which it had contracted debt, but not yet received the money, asking them to cancel or reduce the projects.

In February, he said the government could reduce the total $7 billion of contracted but undisbursed debt by about $5 billion.

Zambia is also planning to restructure loans it’s already received and in its external debt count, which totaled $11.2 billion at the end of last year including $3 billion in Eurobonds.

“The idea was to begin the process of restructuring — talking to the lenders with the view to restructure the loans,” Dr. Ng’andu said.

“We have gone in this process by seeking to get professional advisers on debt. There was a process which has been completed last week of assessing possible friends that can work with us in terms of helping us to restructure our debt.”


  1. You will find that poor planning, corruption, and theft are the real problems.

    Even if corona had not arrived, you guys were never going to find money to finance the budget.

    Now you are starting to give excuses.

    Shameful specimens.

  2. Is it covid or the ambitious over borrowing? 90% of the article its all lamentations on borrowing, osanamizila covid bane, let’s just call a spade a spade and not a big spoon.

  3. Kikiki. You guys make me laugh. So nikunamizila covid-19 manje. Power ati nimvula kulibe when water is flooding villages on the very river that feeds the Kariba Dam, economy excuses range from covid-19 to politicking and in between climate change.
    kikiki. Awe

  4. So why then is that foreign affairs minister pushing for another Chinese loan? Which is not even put before parliament in line with the constitution.

  5. Dr Ngandu says “there was over ambition in borrowing – everybody knows that”. So where are all the people that called HH bitter and all sorts of names when he kept saying we were over borrowing and that our debt was unsustainable?

    • What’s bitter about this article ? Pure solutions , checks and balances from Bally

      Lusaka Times

      Tell the nation where the $515 million exceptional revenue will be sourced, HH challenges Finance Minister
      By Chief Editor – October 4, 2019

    • UPND President Hakainde Hichilema has challenged Finance Minister Bwalya Ng’andu to tell the nation where the US$515 million exceptional revenue will be sourced from to finance part of the 2020 national budget.
      Mr Hichilema has urged the government not to borrow anymore unless it is refinancing under more amicable terms.
      He has reiterated that some of the problems facing the nation are as a result of over borrowing and poor governance.
      Mr Hichilema says blaming climate change over the challenges facing the nation is unrealistic adding that all these can be resolved if they stop Corruption and borrowing.

  6. People is there anyone who can speak for the local authorities? Or just like DMMU, funds meant to pay Council workers have been directed towards COVID -19 response. We have families that depend on the little we get at the end of the month. The President in his speech supports decentralisation, but in his action he makes people at the centre of decentralisation (Council workers) as destitutes. At least an explanation should be given as to why people would go three to four months without being paid. Even a private Institution can give explanation for keeping its workers unpaid for such long not to talk about the Government. The World is so unfair, working in the local authorities is now becoming a destitute move. If I had power to change things. My family is torn apart, l can’t take care…

  7. A money economy has do’s and don’t’s. It’s not about adabra cadabra, I declare a district in Lwano and Chikankata, adabra cadabra, Southern province headquarters moves from Livingstone to Choma, adabra cadabra, King Lewanika University, adabra cadabra, start building Chama Matumbo road.

  8. We told you ,

    covid is the best thing that can happen to lungus GRZ ,
    Begging , excuses and none performance without shame because of covid…….

    When we were telling them to build factories and manufacturing, they were busy sontarring at roads and buildings insisting investors will come pouring in …….

    Hehehe look now ,

    $1.6 billion short ?

    Zambia you are in deep dudu with this clueless Corrupt drunk Lungu…

  9. Mr ngandu is honest enough but not brave enough to say that over borrowing is what really messed up the budget in the first place. Covid-19 is just those unexpected things that come by in life but which clever people and govts plan for as a contingency that’s why some governments or countries which are well run can alleviate the harsh impacts of this pandemic whilst other’s are rushing for foreign aid. The parable of 10 virgins in the bible alludes to those countries well prepared for the unexpected and those that were not.

  10. Failure is the order of the day and as always a million excuses thereafter. Your predecessor failed badly and from your tone, it seems the system has already defeated you.

  11. I foresee this minister being fired very soon, is is too Frank and honest to call a spade a spade. Now his boss and those minions of ministers that hold him at ransom are allergic to truth, because truth and them are parallel therefore as I type they are plotting to have him removed and be replaced with someone weak so that they plunder even more.

  12. “ In an interview in Kitwe on Monday, Dr Ng’andu also admitted that Zambia was “over ambitious” with its borrowing.”

    President Sata was all the way wrong with borrowing and letting his unqualified relatives hold positions in government and parastatals. His Son Mulenga Sata is a glowing example of never should one hire his delusional children.

  13. They are slowly owning up to what sane right thinking persons already knew – but now under the added guise of COVID – 19. The coronavirus has nothing to do with the systematic damage to the economy that the PF has caused in the last 9 years.

  14. I feel pity for this man Dr Bwalya Ngandu to find himself in the middle of troubled thieves. He is an upright man trying to devolve his energy to control and correct misdeeds of PF ministers and government officials. Edgar Lungu is like wheelbarrow, he gets carried away with crooks and his fellow PF thieves.

    PF must go!

  15. Even Donald Trump is sweatin over the impact convic is affecting the US economy, who are not to worry on the impact? By the way the debt we are talkin about is dated way back to the mmd under
    the chiluba govt.our humble leader his doing everything posible.

  16. People have been contacting me via social media and phone asking where I am and why I have not commented on any lusaka times articles. Well, some of us tend to be very busy sometimes. My public relations teams have also been very busy under taking vital work behind the scenes. We have had more important things to deal with. Sorry to all my fans.

  17. When the news is bad and there is no escape route KZ will always say something not related to the article. Just provide solutions how are you going to come out of the mess the minister has admitted. You were busy pointing useless infrastructure as development has that returned revenue to cover for this suffocating debt? Covid is innocent don’t blame it for your mess.

  18. Admit you have failed, leave office peacefully for others to come and try to fix your mess properly. You don’t listen to advise. You have been advised from the start long before covid but you played deaf. And you tried your best to run with excuses but now all the problems you post ponned are catching up with you. You are doomed

  19. Spaka, I will vote for a “clueless Corrupt drunk” any day than an arrogant, conceited, tribalist who thinks he’s the sharpest person in Zambia any day!!!!

  20. Bwalya will go into our annuls as one finance minister who took over a dying ministry but has remained resilient, honest and humble. Love the money, jealous fiwny

  21. Zambian Citizen 

    Yes , good for you.

    We Only pity those semi illitrates you were giving chitenges and entertaining with dancing by lungu …….they, their children and grandchildren are condemned to debt for the rest of their lives ….

  22. Chitenges, dancing, bikes etc don’t work anymore. Ask GBM. Voters choose who they want, who they feel inspired or motivated by. THEY HAVE REJECTED BALLY A RECORD FIVE TIMES!!!!!!!!!!

  23. The projected contraction of 2,6% is very very consevative, I would imagine the contraction is going to be in excess of 20%. This is simply because if according to Bwalya Ng’andu, from the Treasury, there is a government financing gap of at least 20 billion Kwacha ($1.09 billion) to 29 billion Kwacha projected for 2020, accounting for a whooping 40% of planned revenue, just how then could the GDP contract by a mere 2.6% during the same period, please BOZ? I doubt even the legendary magician Hocus Pocus can conjure such amazing magic. Someone is clearly lying because they do not know what they are doing & I bet it’s Ng’andu. They can fool fools like Nkandu Lunyo, Kainyokolola Zulu & Chagwa himself but not seasoned econonists like me. This economy is fu.cked real big time, you’re all in…

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