Tuesday, June 25, 2024

The IMF offers a good escape route for Zambia…unless China decides to write off the billions it is owed.


Unless China decides to write off the billions it is owed by Zambia in debt, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is one of the few escape routes available to heavily indebted countries, a University of Zambia lecturer has said.

Commenting on mounting criticism against the government’s decision to engage the IMF, Sishuwa Sishuwa defended the move, saying the previous administration collapsed the economy to an extent that made the coming of the Fund almost inevitable.

“The Lungu administration sacrificed economic rationality for political expediency, and consequently made the new administration of Hichilema inherit a poisoned chalice. After carelessly contracting a huge and unsustainable debt that effectively collapsed Zambia’s economy, the PF opportunistically delayed committing to an IMF bailout package for fear that the political fallout may cost them an election.

“None of the critics of the IMF deal has offered any kind of alternative solution, because there is not one unless China decides to write off all the billions it is owed. Critics are correct to say that many of the IMF conditions are harsh and will hit the poor especially hard. But if the budgetary process is to be put on a sound basis, strict spending controls are essential”, Dr Sishuwa said last evening during a virtual interview program dubbed “The State of Politics in Zambia Today”.

During the same show, the UNZA lecturer also condemned the arrest of PF member of the Central Committee Raphael Nakacinda on a charge of defamation of the President.

He said the law on defamation of the president has no place in a democracy and should be repealed.

Dr. Sishuwa urged President Hakainde Hichilema to embrace public criticism, develop thick skin and stop the police from arresting critics in his name.

Below is the link to the recorded broadcast of the full program.



  1. The IMF deal is done and dusted……. .

    Let’s move on and contribute positively to emerge from the economic mess we are in………

  2. Some of the things leave me mawuless. Ine kudabwa ka. Zambians talking as if they have plan B other than the IMF. Whatever IMF tells you to do, you monkeys will do-fullstop. If not, is it IMF who brought billions of debt to Zambia? And u were all sitting on yo asses when these debts were accumulating and shouting “Lungu,Lungu, PF, PF”, it time to pay now what u celebrated. Infact IMF must be very harsh to failures like you.

  3. You busy deporting Americans & Europeans while you were in power, praised China and look now where China has left, China itself can’t even help restructure your own debt. Foolishness! IMF is here to help then u want to sound clever – atase! Did IMF receive a single cent where u were busy eating? Upuba chabe uyu. IMF pls hammer these failures who cannot manage their own small country with a small population. Be harsh pls cos they complaining of you when you are actually helping them.

  4. Step Aside-Silently .the most stupid person to ever have commented on a blog….Am sure its some uneducated fool……

  5. Is Dr. Sishuwa an economist? Or does being a university lecturer make you an expert in all fields?
    No matter how much support you want to give to upnd, this IMF route doesn’t work, hasn’t worked anywhere.
    Maybe Zambia will be a first.

  6. At the time Chinese nationals were dying from the cold weather because China couldn’t afford to keep her citizens warm, they elected to build a multi million dollars TAZARA in solidarity with Zambia whose import and export route had been closed with the declaration of UDI by Ian Smith. China has continued to offer more goodwill to its allies despite the negative western propaganda. It’s therefore immoral for us to consider China as a major threat to our economic wellbeing. If the Chinese debt has such an impact on our economy, why don’t we engage the Chinese instead of rushing to the IMF whose terms we know shall never be fair? I’ve never heard that China has refused to discuss that issue

  7. At Computer Scientist & Issachar: Since when do u need to be an economist to be able to comment on economic issues? Your own grade 7 teacher was not an Economist but legally taught you Social Studies, not a mathematician but taught u maths etc , including English, Science. One Teacher. So, iwe chi cadre, clean empty head-besides yourself are u a qualified journalist for u to open your mouth on this platform?

  8. Worst case scenario, let’s make things easy. You people ate, danced & borrowed each other(You-China). Why then don’t you resolve the debt issue among yourselves. Why for the past 7 years haven’t you been going to China to negotiate but instead you went west , u ve pilikisha IMF since 2015(7 years in total). But why? Why IMF? Why not your favorite chambian friend? Borrow & Drink with China, then Suffer & pay back with the West. What kind of usilu is this?

  9. Sishuwa should campaign to have the defamation law repealed. He is misdirecting his criticism. HH has nothing to do with the arrest of Nakachinda. At no point since assuming the Presidency has HH complained about being criticized. HH has actually acted with a lot of decorum. He has never reacted personally to the criticisms, innuendos, lies and outright insults from his opponents. Why is there this assumption that some people can only be arrested on the orders of the President? The police have arrested and charged Nakachinda on the basis of existing law. Just appeal to the President and his party to expunge the law of defamation from the statutes. Period.

  10. @Ayatollah Why didn’t you ask the Chinese to restructure the debt? You instead waited until you defaulted on the other loans and economic collapse. I thought you PF guys and the Chinese where buddies..???

  11. 1. Dr Sichuwa does not need to be an economist to address this subject. This is what is wrong with Zambia. We get conditioned that if someone is not an economist then his point of view is irrelevant. One needs just to have insight and foresight to assess the state-of-affairs.

    There is a reason top global corporations don’t mostly hire people with an MBA Qualification from top universities to become CEO. It’s because all you need is *Foresight, *Good Judgement, *Open Mind, *Creative, *Leadership, Team-building skills, even if you were trained outside business perimeters. This is the *stuff you don’t get from academic qualifications. You acquire them by personal development or natural abilities.

  12. 2. From 2000 to 2017, The Wall Street Corporate World in USA, had a lot of CEO’s who were veterans from the Vietnam War that turned into the business world. They got hired and led $ Billion Dollar corporations without MBA’s because they had precisions, decisive, attention to detail, good judgement, foresight, leadership, team-building skills.

    There is a difference between having academic qualification & being an intelligent person. The world has intelligent people without academic qualifications. Just as well academia’s without sole intelligent minds.

  13. IMF bail out is important. I know UPND will serve the people of Zambia well, but assuming things don’t go well, our objective as Zambians will still have been achieved, that of removing the incompetent PF. Whether UPND keep their promises or not, what is important is that PF is out.

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