The Bank of Zambia has refuted social media assertions that the central bank intends to ban the holding of dollar accounts in commercial banks.
Bank of Zambia Governor Christopher Mvunga said that the fake social media statement should be ignored.
Mr. Mvunga said this in Lusaka yesterday when the central bank announced this month’s Monetary policy rate.
His comments come in the wake of a social media report that the bank plans to expropriate over 2.6 billion dollars in an attempt to lower the exchange rate.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Bwalya Ng’andu ha said that the Eurobond holders have indicated their willingness to continue engaging the Zambian government on debt restructuring.
Dr Ng’andu said that the government is looking forward to deeper engagement with the committee of the bondholders once the confidentiality agreement has been signed.
He has told Parliament that Government has not paid the coupon that was due on November 13, 2020 for various reasons.
Dr Ng’andu explained that payment of the coupon could have contradicted Government’s earlier message of its incapacity to service the debt.
He said inconsistency regarding the country’s lack of capacity to pay would send a signal to bond holders and other creditors that Zambia lacked a credible and orderly approach to the debt restructuring process.
In a Ministerial statement in Parliament today, Dr. Ng’andu said the decision to pay would weaken Government’s negotiation position beyond the solicitation process.
He said other commercial creditors would have interpreted Government’s decision as lacking in transparency and equal treatment of creditors.
Dr. Ng’andu said Government is fully committed to engaging the bondholders committee meaningfully and transparently to reach a common and orderly approach to the process.
He said Government will continue to provide the bondholders with necessary information regarding the debt, economic and fiscal position as well as plans to restore growth and attain fiscal and debt sustainability.
And Dr. Ng’andu said Vice President Inonge Wina’s assurance that the country would NOT default was based on government’s real expectations following engagements with the Eurobond holders.
He said at that time government did not expect the bondholders to reject its request to defer payments.
Dr. Ng’andu also said he does not expect Zambia’s sovereign rating to drop in the wake of the rejected request.
He also said government is still engaging the International Monetary Fund on the type of facility the country can secure.