Reuters report that a date for the first meeting of Zambia’s official creditor committee has not yet been set, an official said on Monday, after President Hichilema was reported as saying it would take place on June 16.
Secretary to the Treasury Felix Nkulukusa told Reuters that “we are waiting for the Paris Club secretariat to give us that information.”
France, which hosts the Paris Club forum for international creditors, and China are co-chairs of the bilateral negotiations to restructure Zambia’s external debts, which reached $17.27 billion at the end of 2021, according to government data.
The French Finance Ministry did not respond to a request for comment.
In 2020, Zambia became the first pandemic-era sovereign default and it is buckling under a debt burden of more than 120% of gross domestic product (GDP).
It reached a staff level deal on a $1.4 billion three-year extended credit facility with the IMF in December and needs to finish bilateral negotiations to secure the funding.
Last month sources with knowledge of the process said China was holding up the debt relief discussions.
China said it was ready to support Zambia with its debts.
“Now we are at a stage where all the creditors have agreed to come to the discussion table,” presidential spokesman Anthony Bwalya said.
He said the meeting was likely to take place before the end of June.
Zambia’s government had previously repeatedly said it hoped the negotiations would be finished by that time.
This was “a tad optimistic,” JPMorgan analyst Sthembiso Nkalanga said in a note that cited President Hakainde Hichilema as saying the committee would hold its first meeting on June 16.
“We now see talks being concluded only in late 3Q/early 4Q at the earliest, with risks for longer delays,” Nkalanga said.
Over the weekend, President Hichilema announced that Zambia’s official creditors will meet for the first time on June 16 to discuss restructuring the debt.
Addressing congregants at the Life Cathedral Church in Chingola, Sunday, President Hichilema said government struggled to get all creditors to sit together.
The President said Zambia’s creditors would on June 16 sit to discuss Zambia’s debt crisis.
The right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is holding.
Lies in the morning, lies in the afternoon and lies at night.
shame on you this meeting will be held on 16 th as Mr. president said
Tomorrow or the other day…. doesn’t matter….At least something positive is happening.
As a Puppet President he used insider info leaked to him by his partners as Nkulukusa was waiting for official communication. It pays to have a puppet President because as a ‘yes bwana’ he’s well-connected
Atleast they are getting together……..
They realise , it is in their intrest…….
Looked for the word Intrest !!!. It seems it only exists in SPAKA’s tonga head.
They just want their money. The money that Edgar China Lungu puts in his pocket. WHY IS THIS GUY NOT IN JAIL?
No corruption Zambia. Zambia has laws. We dont lock up people just because you think so. You need to prove guilty beyond all doubt to punish somebody. If you cannot prove it then just shut up. Go and live where you punish people just because you think so.
Give the Tonga an inch and this is what we have!!!. Arguing about PF day in and day out. False promises everyday. No visible results but promises just as they were doing when in opposition. People do that when in opposition but not when you are behind the wheel. I guess many well wishing Zambians have realized the voting mistake they made. It does happen when people are desperate and looking for leadership. The US did it with Trump too and then ditched him after one term when they realised what a monster he was actually.
I hope these guys have a plan B to the IMF financing plan
Ba Pungwa ukuipantawila!
UPND why are are blocking bloggers outside Zambia. Have we become a nation that not allow free speech and the truth to be said in the open. Who is behind this in this government. What are you scared of ?
All the bragging, boasting we saw and read from HH. Now he even goes and throws a big lie. How can the Creditors and IMF even trust this president.
Like KK, Chiluba, Mwanawasa and Sata all said. You cannot trust HH with the truth…….
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