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Zambia confirms it will pay French firm US$ 5 million for debt advisory services

President Edgar Lungu confers with Secretary to the treasure Fredson Yamba (r) whilst Communication and Transport Minister Brian Mushimba listens shortly after signing ceremony

Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba has picked French company, Lazard Freres, to provide advisory services regarding liability management for its debt portfolio.

Mr Yamba released a statement late on Wednesday after a leaked memo from Ministry of Finance showed that Lazard Freres had been provisionally awarded the contract,

Zambia had issued a call for financial advisors to help it restructure its debt and manage any loans maturing from next year and beyond.

This was after a Cabinet decision made in December 2019 to engage financial advisors in Zambia’s quest to strengthen liability management of the debt portfolio.

“In accordance with the Public Procurement Act No. 12 of 2008, the Government, in March 2020, then issued a request for proposals for advisory services in relation to the liability management of its debt portfolio. The tenders were received from six (6) strong and competitive bidders, namely:

  1. Newstate Partners
  2. Potomac Group
  3. Deustche Bank and Rothschild & Company
  4. Absa Bank and Barclays Bank PLC
  5. White Oak Advisory Limited; and,
  6. Lazard Freres.”

“A thorough evaluation process of the tenders from the above-listed organisations was undertaken to select financial advisors for liability management of Zambia’s debt portfolio. The evaluation was completed according to the Public Procurement Act No.12 of 2008 and a notice of intention to award the tender to the best-evaluated bid was circulated to all bidders on Tuesday 26 May 2020. The notice expires on Friday 29 May 2020.”

“In the notice, all the bidders have been informed that the best-evaluated bid selected by the Ministry of Finance Tender Committee was from LAZARD FRERES OF FRANCE.”

Mr. Yamba said the proposed contract amount for the best-evaluated bid is a maximum of Five-Million United States Dollars which is negotiable by mutual agreement, and payable based on work done over a period of three (3) years.

“Under the Public Procurement Act No. 12 of 2008 as read with Public Procurement Regulations, 2011, the bidders, not selected, have the right to raise any issue they may have on the outcome. This is also in conformity with the Government’s commitment to strengthen transparency and accountability in public procurement,” he said.

“As we have done in the past, the Government of Zambia intends to use the services of the financial advisors in line with signed agreements with lenders; multilateral, bilateral and private.”

“I take this opportunity to restate that the Government has no intention of unilaterally restructuring debt without consulting creditors. We will respect agreements and diligently use market-based instruments in our debt management.”

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  1. That’s Moizes Katumbi’s financial advisor. What has Zambia done to God to have these PF ministers sure. $5 million of not billion?? It’s none stop looting.
    So these idyots have no brains, they have hire people from streets of Paris to advise government?
    Why not pay UPND that $5 million, to advise government in debt management? Even Peter Sinkamba can do better job than those crooks.

    • The opposition has been offering debt management advise for mahala to them since 2011, they couldn’t heed to their advise, now they have to pay for it.

  2. its not debt management zambia needs ,but home grown sustaimable economic recovery strategies

  3. Zambia’s debt has just risen by US$5m through this act alone. It doesn’t matter in Edgar Lungu’s govt. The best advice was offered before the debt had ballooned to this unsustainable level and it was free advice. Sadly that advice was spurned. Edgar Lungu would rather pay for advice because his has lots of money.

  4. We have gone to scout for a pantry 3.5 million US dollars from the Sudanese as investment in our gold mining, yet we are ready to part away with 5 million US dollars for debt management advise. Its moments like these that make some men to force their pregnant wives to go and give birth in other countries , so that their children can have a good future.

  5. Now you have to pay USD5 million to be told what Magande has been telling you to do all along. We simply don’t have the right people in important positions. Running a country is not for every jim & jack.

  6. I don’t blame the government for outsourcing this service. Zambian economists are the most gullible and lethargic bunch I have ever met. Our accountants are solid, but the economists Lord almighty! In a country where a politician can have the last say and a technocrat obeys, then you are in deep trouble. First it makes the technocrats timid. A person living in fear cannot come up with anything innovative. You have hundreds of people with degrees on their walls saying economist yet they cannot even stand up to these carnivores in the name of politrickians even when they know the solution. Even if one of these our gullible economists were to stand up, Yamba will be so intimidated to hand him/her that $5 million cheque, he’d rather hand it over to the Frend who withdraw $500 billion every…

  7. …French who withdraw $500 billion every year from West Africa. Free money. Comeon I had one class in economics in college and trust me I know where you are messing up.

  8. What is this Secretary to the Treasury still doing? How can the original problem of Sovereign Bonds which messed us up be the solution too?
    However, if the sovereign bonds and other loans contracted by Fred & Coy were okay, then the problem must lie with poor expenditure and corruption and bribery among our so called leaders. Someone please check the wealth of all these politicians, especially the ones who daily donate unexplained cash.

  9. @Chakolwa
    That’s a bad a excuse.
    As a people why don’t we advocate for a technocracy and democracy hybrid type of govt? If it’s apparent that technocrats obey and fear politicians in any government, then which I’ve proposed ought to be the case – GRZ should be run by those most technically capable.
    Right now the majority of legislators (politicians) are businessmen, and lawyers. NONE OF THEM, I repeat NONE OF THEM have the necessary technical expertise to run GRZ well and help bring Zambians out of poverty. It is why we want a cabinet outside of parliament – because then a vision-less president won’t have his way.

  10. Imagine this; You go and pay a K100 for a tax to take you to a cinema to watch a movie for K20. The trees kept on cheering for the axe even when the forest was desolate just because its handle was made out of wood. The story of Zambia my beloved motherland

  11. @Zambian Citizen, @Thorn in the Azz$, @Imposter KZ, where are you losers and pathetic cadres to defend this folly from your Government?
    You want to be advised on how to pay back kaloba by a foreigner …. arent you supposed to seek advice before spending??

  12. These PF robbers, what nosense is this? You mean there are no capable people who can provide such services within ministry of finance, even then we can employ additional staff who can manage our debts at lesser cost for three years.

    When i say PF must go, that’s what I mean.

    They were borrowing recklessly to steal and after stealing they want to steal more again

    Foolish men in PF government.

  13. This confirms that this government is very inept and inefficient with the little resources they have. Does the French firm understand African debt more than the Africans do? Zambia surely, Lungu has lamentably failed. Pay that 5 million dollars to the people you owe to reduce the debt rather than paying it for unnecessary services that are not needed at the moment. Seer one brain washed everyone in the PF.

  14. A heavily indebted poor country buying extravagant advise 56 years after independence. No vision sure!!

  15. There is only solution to PF government and it’s to vote out these PF robbers.

    They destroyed everything in the country and they still want to make sure nothing will be left for us.

    PF must go!

  16. Let us get the $5 million and invest it in gold mining then use the proceeds from gold to pay interest on kaloba.

  17. $5 million dollars for debt advisory services to french company, Gold mining to a sudanese company for $3.5 million, while zambian businesses have been offered a K10 Billion ( in dollars roughly $500 to 600 thousand as covid “stimulus” package) .

  18. He!He!He!He! Zambia is a laughing stock.You want to tell me that we do not have institutions that can advise on debt management.Even a graduate of ZICA CA or a degree in Accounts can advise the government on debt management. Why do we have educated people who cannot be utilized in such areas? Debt Management is just a component in Financial Management. There is nothing complex about it. Do you even have to solicit foreign consultant on the same.We have capable people who can do that. Why wasting resources when you have human resource that is capable of doing a credible job? It is just that we have made it a point that anything foreign is worth admiring. Zambia should learn to use her own resources to advance its national agenda.

  19. “If you still support PF at this point ,the idea that you manage to dress yourself in the morning without any help is a miracle!” A very wise comment from an annoyed blogger. PF supporters are DULL. ECL is DULL! All PF Ministers are fcuking DULL! And we still have deranged baboons trying to justify the actions of this utterly incompetent government. What kind of stup!d!ty lurks in your tiny brains ba Zambian Citizen nefipuba finobe??

  20. Zambians will regret this silly move! You don’t understand the French! They are very good at creating a “win-lose” situation for naive Africans!
    Instead of calling for a National Indaba to discuss the way out, you still think solutions will come from outside? Don’t you know that home-grown solutions are always the best? This is an insult to the Zambians!

  21. Dudelove: I disagree that PF ministers are dull. They’re very intelligent but lack the morality to back it up. There are so many intelligent people who have gone to prison. Think of Michael Milken, the junk bond king in the 1980s. Look him up if his name doesn’t ring a bell. Most students of finance know his name.

  22. Then you have PF monkies jumping up and down ati

    ” Zambia is independent we don’t need colonists ? “

  23. Spending $5m just to hire some Frenchmen to speak on behalf of 18 million Zambians for extension of debt repayment? In other words this government wants to bribe the creditors to extend the period of repayment of debt. But kwena Zambia sure! Why Why Why??…………

  24. How is it okey to pay $5million dollars for debt advisory services? How does this PF govt sleep at night? Zambians have been giving debt advisory for free by telling PF to STOP getting us into Debt. Why is it not criminal to for leaders to destroy our economy and financial standing? why is it okey to take $5million from our impoverished coffers to pay a rich nation so they can tell us how we should manage our selves. PF is worse than covid-19 !!! Zambians what actually happens to us when we get into power why do we suspend our thinking and become thieves. We will be slaves forever at this rate. Lets change our name to Chambia …Zambia died a long time ago

  25. Better to pay $5 million dollars to a French company and find a sustainable solution on our own than to pay billions of dollars to IMF and mortgage the country to them again for the next decades . Either way, the wound is already open and any intervention to ease the pain will hurt. The only choice left is to find the remedy with the least side-effects.

    • IMF would have given you a loan at 0.5% interest, repayable in three years. Then they would rein in on reckless spending, restore economic sustainability, improve debt sustainability as interest on existing debt would drop by huge margin; reduced debt servicing and without anyone talking to these creditors, we would make huge servings. Unfortunately, PF does not want discipline. They would rather commit suicide with the hope of taking something out of this gamble. Any evidence IMF helped a country? Yes, Zambia had two IMF programmes between 2006-2011 and nothing was mortgaged

  26. I have never seen a thieving and useless government in the world like PF you want to run our country dry have you not stolen enough id**ots Cancel that contract and hire HH for free he can even do a better job HH has offered himself for free already if you go ahead with that contract this time around we are going to fight you Zambia is not your property you id**ots.
    You want to milk finish this country all the ministers are stealing without shame.

  27. Really sad …all this could have been avoided if you simply listened to advise about unsustainable borrowing….really reckless govt!!

  28. Meanwhile, France is still looting West Africa, extorting the so called 14 West African Francophone countries out of billions of dollars a year. Now they’ll add Zambia to the list of stupid African countries to be milked. All because of these clueless fooools whose colonial thinking is still hardwired to Europe. 55 years after Independence, we still can’t do things on our own or think for ourselves , but have to hire some foreign French company to advise on how to manage our debt. Very useless administration. Zambians please, next time choose wisely, as we don’t want this nightmare to be repeated next year. This corrupt, clueless bunch called PF must go.

  29. On second thought, why must we pay a foreign company to tell us how to solve our problems? Can’t we get financial advice in Zambia?

  30. Nine Chale – Did we not tell you now you are asking daft questions like why marry a German musungu when when you can marry a Zambian

  31. @Tarino stick to the matter at hand, please. I hate to admit it but I posted my first comment too rash and without proper thought. It’s absolutely senseless to engage foreign economists to tackle our foreign debt problem. A better approach would be for Zambian economists to study the methods that other countries in similar situations have successfully used and then advise our government accordingly.

  32. It is correct that the govt sought this help at this time as the pandemic has unravelled all the good plans made before it.

    I wish govt would have listened to concerned voices about the erratic borrowing by irresponsible, then Finance Ministers, Chikwanda and Mwanakatwe. We were told time and again that the debt was sustainable obviously carelessly based on the economy remaining the same which was ridiculous.

    Going forward we should NOT take on more debt BEFORE consulting debt managers chosen. The new mandate for PF IS TO NATIONALISE OUR MINES, not put them in private hands. That formula has NOT worked.

  33. Where are those PF cadres to come and sing us a song about sovereignty…really sad..we told you foooools.

  34. All you UPND and Diaspora demons can choke with envy while we run the country and get rich. We have no time for you because you have no idea what it takes to run a country. You have to make difficult decisions, even unpopular ones that many of you like Tarino would never understand.

    This is an investment that will reap positive results for the country.

    Some of us are now using the experience of being in government to invest in properties right there in foreign accounts where you are. You wouldn’t know it but some of your white bosses are actually my tenants in my own houses.
    So go ahead and keep complaining while we put more money in our pockets and that of Zambians. Kz

    H.H would have given this advice for free, but due to P.F’s hatred of H.H they should have approached Magande, a tried & tested Economic manager.
    We have seen these kickback scams before, as some of us are NOT blind with defective memories of Chickens like sycophantic P.F Cadres.
    Does anyone still remember during Sata’s days in State House, P.F paid a fortune in U$D from the treasury to a Tswana company to advise the P.F Government how to keep our cities organised & clean?
    What happened to that deal & payment? Which…

  36. What an insult to the local Accounting Fraternity. Why is ZICA quiet about this. Chikwanda still believes he did not wreck the county’s coffers in view of all those loans acquired under his hand. Shame shame shame. After 50 years of independence we find ourselves I this situation because of these Pathetic Failure

  37. The Story above just shows how P.F are visionless violent Street Kaponyas handed keys to manage a sovereign State.
    Similar to asking a curio seller @ Maramba market, or a garbage disposal worker @ L.C.C to go into theatre & operate on the sick. IT WILL NEVER WORK OUT!!
    These P.F K0lway’z were given good seed maize in “cancellation of Zambia’s debt” & with this goodwill all they needed to do is plant the seed maize & they would be laughing now & NOT need violent campaigns :maiming of Citizens to get re -elected, BUT AIKONA THESE MUNKW3LE’Z -(Ch!MPs).
    They ate/destroyed all the seed maize -(looting of treasury) & are now panicking as elections are fast approaching, so what do these visionless pr!mates do??? they go to the supplier of seed maize they wasted & ask “can we have…

  38. Cont;
    “can we have some seed maize again, this time we promise to behave & not feast on the seed maize BUT plant it”
    Only Drunken visionless brutes can create a problem, then use meagre resources to pay someone to fix their mess”
    The day will come where economics text books will teach students how NOT to mismanage an economy & the mismanagement will be called “the P.F mismanagement model” highlighting how one starts with Zero debt, chooses a dancing maniac to run their Country & economy into the ground in the short space of 8 short years!
    Lastly #P.FMUSTGO!

  39. Anyone still supporting PF at this present moment in time is very stupid and am not apologizing for this because PF has looted the country to the core and see how they have brought division in the country.

  40. Crazy indeed, you get Karma company from sudan to invest $3.5 million in the gold mine when you have $5 million to waste on useless advise? who has bewitched the PF kanshi? Dununa Reverse kind of thinking

  41. The best advice for PF gov’t is; stop corruption, spend less, pay your debts and work towards being debt-free – don’t depend on donors; It is more blessed to give than to receive. we don’t need a consultant to help us in this regard; how do you get out of debts? Just pay your debts…
    God bless Zambia!

  42. What good can come out of a kaponya government, next time vote wisely n put credible people in charge….mwaona manje?

  43. It’s so unbelievable that out of all the posts above, none has brought out any tangible argument. So sad!!

  44. PF want to steal 5 million dollars for next year elections by trying to fooooolishly justify this senseless cost to the nation like they did with the ambulances, 42 fire wheelbarrows, toll plazas and the Lusaka Ndola road.

  45. We are spending this 5 milli paying for services from foreign business, how much is going to stay in the local economy? Those responsible for such transactions buy most of their belongings in foreign countries. We carry water in a perforated device.

  46. What is this crap implying? We don’t have brains in Zambia? You got independence from the white people why go back to them to come rescue you from your mess and follly? Put that money in the economy which is already ailing due the scarcity of what you want to throw to the already rich. Did seer 1 suck all your reasoning from your brains?

  47. Nobody is saying anything sensible apart from ranting over the $5m.

    Useless chaps! That’s why govt has been forced to engage in this firm because they wouldn’t be ulterior motives by these people other than to deliver. What is 0.045% of $11 billion dollars imwe baf**a?
    Some of you could have charged govt 10% *****s

  48. Debt management is taught in business school at university level. When you lower government ministers’ office qualification down to grade 12 this is what happens. No one with grade 12 education can negotiate or even manage debt – local or international.

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