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Alba Iulia
Tuesday, October 5, 2021

If you claim our Debt numbers were understated, show us who the new creditors are – Former Finance Minister

Headlines If you claim our Debt numbers were understated, show us who...

Former Finance Minister Dr. Bwalya Ng’andu has said that the statement that the United Party for National Development (UPND) government has inherited an empty treasury is at best lacking in clarity.

Dr. Ng’andu has since challenged Finance Minister Situmbeko Musokokwane to state the exact figures the new government found in the government reserves.

Speaking to journalists in Lusaka today, Dr. Ng’andu said with the sustainable increase in the price of copper during the first half of this year and running into the third quarter of the year, the government saw a consistent rise of the foreign reserve position to over US$1.6 billion.

Dr. Ng’andu said that Zambia’s Debt remains as given to Parliament last year, refuting claims that there is hidden debt. and that IMF concerns were only the price of petroleum products, price of electricity to consumers.

“The assertions that our debt numbers were understated are not true. We have never hidden any debt. The IMF has never questioned our debt figures. The IMF never doubted our numbers” Dr. Bwalya Ngandu

“Debts sustainability negotiations are only possible if you disclose the correct figures” Dr. Bwalya Ngandu

“We challenge anyone who claims that our debt numbers were understated, to show us who the new creditors are,” Dr. Ng’andu
before adding, “To say we owe $38billion is total nonsense, someone must do their maths lessons again” Dr. Bwalya Ngandu

“If you declare a lower figure and the restructuring is based on the figure, you will not achieve your objectives of arriving at a new debt level that your economy will be able to manage. The declaration of a debt figure that is lower than the actual debt is a meaningless act of self-deception because the remedy will not be adequate to deal with the problem at hand,” he said.

“The proposition that there is hidden debt somewhere suggests that somebody has found what was hidden because it goes without saying that if you have not found what was hidden, then you don’t know what was hidden.”

He added that the former ruling party will obviously be keen to see who the creditors are and the amounts that were obtained.

“Debt service restructuring was initiated by the government to deal with the debt challenge in December 2019 out of its recognition that the current debt position was unsustainable and needed to be addressed. This cabinet directed that the contraction of new commercial loans should cease, all approved loans for which no disbursements have been made should be canceled, approved loans for which only a small component of the loan has been disbursed should have the undisbursed component canceled and finally that a selected number of loans should be rescoped downwards effectively reducing the size of loans. These measures were proactively implemented,” he stated.

35 COMMENTS

  1. When you were head of this ministry you never, not a single minute explained in detail as u do now. Besides the fact that what u saying now is utter nonsense. But atleast u shd ve exposed to stupidity then, than now. Cos how does one redo his Math exams when u were the first GRZ(the whole world) to default on Debt. Why didn’t u just pay? If the coffers are not empty as u claim? U deserve a jail term.

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  2. Upon the appointment of Mr. Musokotwane, some people were suggesting that Dr. Bwalya Ng’andu, would have been a better choice. I don’t know who this guy is, but after reading his clarification above I remain to wonder how this person could have been better than Mr. Musokotwane, clearly, his brains are not functioning to their fullest potential. Who is saying Zambia owe $38billion ? That is just his twist to confuse people, by throwing in numbers. On whether “debt numbers were understated”, WHY DOESNT HE TELL US WHAT HE THINKS THE ACTUAL DEBT IS, INSTEAD OF CHALLENGING MUSOKOTWANE, LOOKING FOR AN OPENING TO ARGUE AND CONTINUE REFUSING THE ACTUAL DEBT. TEKANYENI, BANE. Yes, there could be a reserve position of over US$1.6 billion, BUT qualify that against the DEBT, which is estimated…

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  3. Thanks for weighing. Regardless of who is telling lies, if IMF focus is on petroleum products, the new administration must sharpen their negotiation skills.

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  4. I see police officers lined up from state House, along mosi tunya road,ring road up to new kasama. I need to know if these officers are on an allowance every day?if they are paid then who is paying them and where is the money coming from?

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  5. Only 2 possibilities here.
    1. It may be true some figures were not declared for fear of alarming whoever that could have been.
    2. It can be that Team Musokotwane and his business partners in team HH are trying to abnormally inflate figures for them to benefit from whatever phantom amount they will add on. Declare 20bill and yet actual is 12bill. Then share the 8bill.

    So the question is who’s telling the truth between these crooked 2?.

    DAY11

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  6. During any financial transition period between 2 criminals, documents gets burned and some disappear to the advantage of both. Outgoing had stolen so leaving no trace is a must. Incoming, knowing that the outgoing had definitely stolen, whatever was left might be stolen and push the blame on the outgoing.

    So please guys it’s not time to think of buying your slays range rovers we know nachitulika umo so PLEASE remember those dusty women and youths who gave you their shoulders for you to step on as you ascended to power.

    PLEASE LEAD US WELL WITH UTMOST CANDOR.

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  7. Hold your fire sir..,all debt which was contracted outside approval by parliament will be illegal and hidden. Just because is known by this one does not mean is not hidden. All that money printed unauthorised by BOZ recently will be illegal debt. So let’s wait and learn all of us!

    You are not making sense.

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  8. Now people I thought why people voted for the Upnd was to solve problems not find excuses. It’s simple, if these things happened, you don’t need to go to BBC to shout out. All you need is to work quietly and arrest these people and then we shall hear about it when they appear in court. The way you are going about is like ” I can’t fix it because Bwalya Ngandu did this and that…” So that people forget your promises. Investigate, arrest and prosecute.

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  9. No smoke without fire Mr Doctor. The fact is there could be little things you overlooked because you were so focused on looting. Everything is coming to light. Time is a game changer.

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  10. Deja Vu how you forget as PF, just yesterday you were telling everyone that there was no money and many workers including retirees were unpaid. What suddenly changed to say the coffers were not empty and why were you running to IMF seeking for a loan. You just heard a recording of Kambwili begging for bond money. PF officials should be jailed for not paying people when the coffers were not empty.

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  11. If you suspect to be sick with syphiliis, you don’t go to the doctor the history about your social life.
    Dr. Ng’andu is too economical about data. The media has placed our debt at 12-13 billion. Boz govenor mentioned Reserves are at $3bn. Why has he not reaffirmed the debt value?

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  12. #14 Chinz that is the problem in Zambia you don’t even read the posting but quickly assume I am attacking your people. I’m neither Upnd or PF and I don’t participate in your elections. All I telling your people is to stop alarming people and playing to the gallery. You have got the power to arrest these people if at all they have stolen. Politicians are good at appealing to immotions and by the time you realize it they have served two terms.

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  13. A whole f00Iish president going on international media and stating lies without actual figures to back his assertions. He thought by crying to abasungu then he will get the muzungu anikonde treatment. What he doesn’t realise is that those muzungu are still after our resources. Showing your weakness in front of a muzungu and you think you can develop with this scumbag in power. You Zambians will miss how patriotic we were. Enjoy your f00Iish decisions

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  14. Can’t this guy just shut it? He is a kabwalala……mushibila insala! Reports in public domain show Zambia’s debt was $28b at the end of 2019. The country defaulted on its debt because the country could not find $24m tat was due. You still argue GRZ has cash?

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  15. The dilemma of UPND is that PF criminals do not want a proper honest hand over, leaving UPND to start figuring out the situation on their own. Jail is waiting.

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  16. I totally agree with Deja Vu. UPND was voted into office on the promise that “Bally will fix it.” From what they had been saying during the campaign period, the electorate was given the impression that UPND had impeccable sources in government who were constantly briefing them in confidence about the state of the country’s economy. Are they now saying that they were condemning ECL and PF without proper facts? If it was true that the country’s coffers were empty, they should have known about that before the elections and not now, This time, making such claims can justifiably be described as excuses for failing to fulfill your campaign promises. I hope and pray that this is not the case.

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  17. The truth is Zambia has money and there are no empty coffers anywhere. Those talking about debt I challenge you other China to show me a government with a positive net cashflow. I REPEAT POSITIVE NET CASHFLOW. Britain? USA? Having debt is not wrong what has been wrong is the misuse of part of the money and that what UPND should establish. From the debt how much was stolen? To say the coffers are empty is not true because government budget relies on monthly collection of taxes, donoor funds that come in bits, loans got in phases both locally and internationally. There is no time government has cash and they drawing from imwe mwe bantu please. Yes PF did some wrong things but don’t lie against them?

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  18. For a country with mineral wealth and vast agribusiness potential having just $1.6bn in reserves is shameful.Kenya has $9bn reserves and Algeria has $150bn reserves.

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  19. Dominion, You clearly are clueless about how debt weighs on the GDP whence the country’s ability to meet its financial obligation to its creditors! We were the first to default on our debt, just where the hell is the money if we also failed to pay salaries or contractors? Yours is clearly a case of a Luapulan Kasai bragging of how well the economy is doing when his nearest comparable to an economy is Katanga, where there is none!

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  20. Politics has become increasingly boring now in Zambia…..UPND is not and will never solve Zambia”s current problems

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  21. During his time as Minister of Finance Treasury defaulted paying interest on its Eurobond debt. Why did Treasury stop servicing its Eurobond debt if it was not broke? Invoices from Govt Service Providers amount to USD 5billion we are told. Why were these invoices not paid if the Treasury is Cash Rich? Figures don’t lie. Dr Bwalya Ngandu will be shamed very soon when the New Minister of Finance reveals the true Debt Stock Figure.

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  22. Yes I can agree if you subtract the debit from the money we have, that Upnd is right to say that they have inherited ” empty pots”. But have people ever seen how a country whose coffers looks like? Empty shops, fuel shortages, no transport, no bumper harvest, no mealie meal, literally on a stand steal, no essential commodities, no importation of vehicles by private citizens. That’s what we experienced in late 1970s to early 1990s… empty coffers.

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  23. Upnd is trying to justify engaging the IMF. Knowing those who voted them into power won’t be happy with the IMF conditions, they want to shift the blame on the PF. It will be like, “because the PF destroyed the economy, we had no choice but to work with the IMF…”.

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  24. Ba Kanjangula UPND is not talking about GDP. You are now mixing issues. I will not be surprised if you said since the exchange rate has improved so Zambians are now enjoying life. Please stick to the issue. Empty is empty bane. Is it truely empty. Even as we are talking here ZRA, RATSA, NRF etc are collecting money to cover the budget allocations for September. In finance we talk about deficit not empty. Thats why I brought in the issue of Cashflow because you can be owing in loans even difficulting but you have cashflow to pay rent, school fees and food. Defaulting is not strange. Germany, Argentina and many more countries have defaulted on bonds and loans before. Zambians lack financial literacy thats why we talk the way we talk.

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  25. Mr. Winter, is right from his analysis unless one has a tilted mind. Yes, UPND own Ilomba (false Promises) will surely swallow them because they had over committed themselves for the sake of getting power. The problem with our people or africans we fail to differentiate between white and black because we are always biased towards black. If one comes with truth will not listen to them but lies (black) will be very quick to agree. Some of the promises UPND made were lies which don’t need time or space to work to see the results because they are just not attainable goals no matter time given. Free education, FRA bag of maize at 250, Fuel price at K5/ltr, and price of mealie meal to K50. Politicians lets learn to say the truth we should never use people for personal gratification always aim…

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  26. How can the once mostly invisible Bwalya Ng’andu start disputing the fact that the Zambian treasury coffers are EMPTY .It was on his watch as Minister of Finance to the PF CORRUPT CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE OF A GOVERNMENT that Zambia became the first African country in the Covid era to DEFAULT .
    Why did he Default on $42.5 million dollars repayments if their was money in the Treasury.Why didn’t we pay up if we had a treasury with sufficient funds?
    Bwalya Ng’andu is very much part of the Criminality that was rampant in that Government

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  27. PF EXPECTS BALANCE SHEETS AND A FULL DECLARATION OF DEBT TO BE DONE IN WEEKS
    IF NORMAL COMPANIES TAKE MONTHS FOR ACCOUNTANTS TO PREPARE
    IMASGICE A COUNTRY
    LETS NOT BE STUPID HERE

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  28. PF DUG A HUGE AND DEEP HOLE FOR DEBTS AND YOU ARE STILL TRYING TO JUSTIFY YOUR SELVES THAT YOU LEFT SOME MONEY IN YOUR SO CALLED RESERVES.
    IN SIMPLE TERMS OF WHAT I KNOW IS THAT AT HOME YOU AQUIRE NKONGOLE OF 10 PIN (K10,000),
    YOUR MONTHLY SALARY IS K 500,
    THEN YOU START SAVING K 300 FOR 10 MONTHS THAT ( K3000)
    REMEMBER THERE ARE SCH GOING CHILDREN, FEEDING, SICKNESS ETC HOME
    YOUR DEBT INTEREST INCREASES EVERY MONTH.
    CAN YOU SURE BOAST TO SAY YOU HAVE MONEY?

    BA PF NA NAKACHINDA THIS IS NOT DUNUNA REVERSE TIME. IT IS TIME TO SEE HOW WE CAN COME OUT OF YOU BAD DEALINGS OF DEBTS.

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