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Alba Iulia
Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Citizen’s Empowerment Vs Lazard: Restructuring Zambia’s Debt.

Economy Feature Economy Citizen's Empowerment Vs Lazard: Restructuring Zambia's Debt.

By Mwamba Peni II

From the onset, I am sure you are aware by now that both the Minister responsible for Finance and the Governor of the Central Bank have admitted that our debt is unsustainable. For me, that is a starting point in the right direction. In as much as we may not agree with the route that has brought us here in the first place, and we are justified not to, there is no other way out of this quagmire than the pragmatic route the Ministry of Finance has taken to bring in a consultant of such standing in the international market to help Zambia restructure its debt.

If I was to begin with the Eurobonds, particularly the one which is due in 2022, more than eight institutions are involved; Citi Bank, Barclays Investment Group, JP Morgan and Bank of America to name a few. These institutions invested their clients money in the Eurobond market because the yields were attractive. For now, the IMF cannot be part of the restructuring process especially when it comes to private money due to the litigation risks therein.

How will this work? The consultant will be engaged by the Ministry but paid unpon delivery and this consultancy engagement may take two to three years before it is concluded. By implication, the consultant will have to pay for their own costs for now which includes but not limited to accommodation, air tickets and upkeep until the expectations of government are met. With the greatest respect to some voices calling for Government to give this assignment to Zambians, these conditions may be unbearable to our local consultants. In addition to that, certain discussions and engagements will require one to be members of associations where bondholders reside as the case is here with either ZICA or LAZ. It will be impossible for our local consultants to acquire practicing licences and expensive to outsource services in all the cities and countries where the bondholders are.

Like I said earlier, some of these institutions have invested their clients money and have a schedule of payment in place. If our debt is restructured, how do they pay their clients who are retired and depend on their investment to make ends meet? This kind of assignment has to be undertaken by a reputable institution with presence in many countries so as to avoid loss of time and costs associated with travelling, accommodation and air tickets. Moreover, there is also an element of networking as the international financial system is a closely knit community which is not open to outsiders. And relationship, both formal and informal, is a key currency not just technical skills or academic qualifications.

You may wish to know that Lazard’s Financial operating revenue is $1.36 billion and its assets under management were sitting at $246 billion as of 31st December 2019. And Lazard has consulted for the following Governments; UK, USA, Australia, Ethiopia, France, Italy, Togo, DRC, Serbia and Mozambique amongst others.

Empowerment is key for local Banks and individuals and what Government should do is to ensure that Lazard picks a local team that will have access to its networks and body of thought when it comes to handling such transactions.


  1. Absolute intelligent and well researched article, can’t with the tribal nonsense from ZWD.

    • Great article with facts. The only things Zambians should be chasing are why these Thieves running this government blatantly refused that the debt is not going out of control and will be unsustainable. This borders on criminality and the president should account for this. No buts.

      Am glad there getting help. Firstly any advisor doesn’t know what a PF cadre is so they will dry up first. Then let them knife each other. Like I used to say three years ago. A time for popcorn will come and watch a great movie.


  2. Zambian Citizen: Stick to your earlier position of endorsing wht Noel Nkhoma wrote. Merely engaging Lazard Freres doesn’t guarantee a favourable ending.

  3. This is the government that said it will put more money in our pockets. But now it is clear that it has no management skills, it has failed to service the abnormal debt now it wants to put more money in international consultant firms to come and help bcz it believes we have no consultants in Zambia who can fix the problem they started despite being warned early before covid

  4. We couldn’t have come this far in this problem if only this was a listening govt. Now they are accepting failure through actions even when they cannot admit it vocally. At this point U are right whether U use local or international consultant the goal is to fix the problem U started, the problem that was avoidable. Actions speak louder than words if I pay someone to fix my problem it means I have failed to fix it myself. PF must go

  5. The history with a particular feature or characteristic; Of old boy network is over.

    The “old boy network” refers to an informal system of friendships and connections through which men use their positions of influence by providing favors and information to help other men. … Most important, many good ole boys networks within companies are informal.”

    “You may keep secrets from your friends, from your parents, your children, your doctor – even your personal trainer – but it takes real effort to conceal your thoughts from Google.”-The British prime minister delivered his inaugural speech to the UN General Assembly.

    Definition of current PF, administration something that obstructs, blocks, or closes up with an obstacle of hindrance: to navigation. an act of obstructing.


  6. And some people think Hichilema can Bally it nonsense at no charge like he’s twitted. We are being insulted for being more knowledgeable than their fraud Hichilema. I told you that he’s a fraud and now get it from his staunch Facebook supporter Mwamba Penn II. It’s better to keep quiet if you don’t understand. We speak the truth. Noel Nkhoma has been vindicated

  7. No amount of trying to justify this expense will work. From way back PF has been advised not to borrow more thereby risking default and making the country have debt which is not sustainable but alas all they did is insult and justify more borrowing putting us the people of Zambia into more stressful times. Let them pay lizard ferez from their own pockets as punishment for putting Zambia into the mess we are in because they also still owe zambians the money for illegally staying as ministers in office.

  8. Ati employ local PF cadres like Mwamba Peni. Idyots.
    Do even know that Zambian Eurobond was given to some cheap guys to trade at New York Stock exchange?
    If you ask minister of Finance about that investment, it will lead to arrests of many people, including Miles Sampa.

  9. Ati Sonya epo wabomba? Namubomba ifyabushilu kwena ee ba PF. Even us in the northern circuit of Zambia can attest that PF is useless.

  10. Nonsense, you are talking bull Mr. Mwamba.Firstly, i want to know: How did Mwanawasa & Magande clear the Zambian debt im 2008? Answer: they negotiated themselves(Magande was the Lizard of that time). He global trotted with his team across the globe. These people when u aproach them, they ll listen to you. Magande proved it. And indeed , we did not just restructure our debts ,but we were pardoned.

  11. So you, Mr. Economists Mwamba you mean go tell me that there is no Zambian David that can stand against these European Goliaths? You are a liar sir, look back into our history? First of all,how did we achieve independent from the British? Did we have any missiles? NO! Did we ve an army? NO! Did we have any Zambian with a college negotiating on our behalf? No! Did we even have money to fly to England to negotiate? NO! Now, u can see that u are talking nonsense sir. Pls shut yo dirty mouth up & leave real Zambians to fight this battle. They know how to conquer goliath- history says so.

  12. In conclusion,as far as am concerned,There is no single Zambian owned company that can mine & trade in gold efficiently. Are u also implying that we should contract Chinese or Sudanese companies who are internationally connected & respected? Cadres & Educated people like u(who dont trust their education),are the reasons why we are where we are today.

  13. In any case if we had such talent in Zambia they’d be better off working with the govt in future borrowings so they can point out dangers during negotiating for loans.

    It is correct to use Lazard, as explained for their international fluidity in the Banking environments they will need to engage.


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