By Venus N Msyani
Finance Minister Hon. Situmbeko Musokotwane continue to struggle to clinch a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Resulting in a terrible dilemma:
Weather to face the camera and say sorry things haven’t turned out the way he expected or continue pushing and hoping.
Through infrastructure development, the previous government accumulated a lot of debt. Had tried to seek help from IMF to deal with the situation, unfortunately the negotiation failed.
After accepting to serve as finance minister under new dawn administration, Hon. Situmbeko Musokotwane put debt crisis on top of the agenda. He approached IMF for a bailout package.
Three months later it was reported that a three-year lending program worth $1.4bn has been agreed at a staff level.
The report led to early celebration in United Party for National Development (UPND) camp. Had they waited for the deal to be finalized, Hon. Musokotwane wouldn’t be in the current dilemma.
“Previous governments had tried “for seven, 10 years” to enter into an agreement with the IMF, but our team had concluded it within a few months.” President Hichilema boasted on social media.
About eight months later Zambians in limbo waiting for IMF bailout! Hon. Nakachinda is right, HH should learn how to take it easy. He is a cause of this bailout dilemma.
Economist and former Finance Minister in the MMD government and now Forum for Democracy Development (FDD) president Edith Nawakwi has predicted that the IMF bailout deal is not happening any soon.
If she is right, what would be left of Hon. Musokotwane? To save his career maybe the finance minister should just resign.
Another option is for the minister to face the camera and say sorry things haven’t turned out the way he expected than continue pushing and hoping.
Some administrations are difficult to work with and the new dawn administration is proving to be one of them. Hon. Musokotwane did very well under MMD. It is very surprising to see him struggling under UPND.