Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Celebrating an IMF Loan shows why Zambia really needs free education


Opposition National Democratic Congress Party President Saboi Imboela has said that he will not be joining those celebrating the long awaited US$ 1.3 billion Extended Credit Facility for Zambia has been concluded successfully.

In a post on her Facebook page Ms Imboela said that the country can raise its own resources here than rush to IMF loans, a view that president Hakainde Hichilema had while he was in opposition and wondered why and how he changed his mind.

Ms Imboela said that the problem with IMF is that they prescribed the same solutions to all countries despite the fact that countries have different problems and their solutions have not helped.

According to the IMF press release, the organisation rates Zambia’s commitment to economic reform as strong and the deal is a 3 year programme (38 months to be precise) and the value of the programme is US$1.3 billion. IMF will support Zambia’s actions to improve macro economic stability and and notably increase social spending, highlighted by the introduction of free education and recruitment of 41,000 health and education workers.

The IMF also acknowledged that the official creditors for supporting the Zambia’s reform agenda via debt restriction and encourages the private creditors to do the same.
Also interesting to note is this statement in the IMF’s official announcement:

Below is Ms Imboela full post


I sat in class for many years in a local and then an international university. Not one day did any of them ever tell me that getting an IMF loan was good for any African country.

All assignments I ever wrote spoke to my understanding of IMF and the World Bank loans being bad for Africa. Their conditionalities called ‘The Washington Consensus,’ prescribed things that injured the African economies.

They said they gave the same prescriptions to all African countries despite specific problems for each country. It was said that sometimes as you signed the loan contracts and the Structural Adjustment Programmes, SAP, that came with them, you could find the name of another country there, because they just uplifted the contract from this country to another.

This is tantamount to giving one type of medicine to everyone despite their sickness. So everyone who is sick of malaria, covid, arthritis, diabetes, etc, are just given coatem.

So forgive me my fellow Zambians, especially praise singers and others that may be celebrating the IMF loan, but I will certainly not celebrate with you. This is not politics but my own opinion I made even before I ever joined politics, and something I have said throughout my political journey.

I have said it consistently that we can raise our own resources in Zambia than rush to IMF loans. This is the view that president HH had while he was in opposition and I don’t know why and how he changed his mind, but some of us still hold that view.

Like many Development scholars, including our very own Dambisa Moyo said in her book DEAD AID, these loans have never developed any African country but instead just made us poorer and more dependant on the West.

So maybe I have concentrated on politics of late and I have not updated my information on how African countries have been faring in the past few years, and if the situation has changed in regards our benefits to such loans. But what I can say is that debt dependency is a curse and not a blessing to us.

I have shared how, among the many development paradigms, the Comparative Advantage one remains my favourite. It talks of how we should use what we have to develop. We have minerals, water, vast arable land, etc. Why always beg???

So forgive some of us, because we don’t make decisions and begin to celebrate things all because politicians and their allies say it’s good. We depend on our own analysis to make an opinion on the matter.

Not that everyone who did Development Studies and Political Science will have my exact views, but my humble education passed me through a process where I am able to make my own informed view on the matter and not be swayed by other politicians and their praise singers. So I repeat- the IMF loan is NOT good for us. It has never been good and it will never be.

However, I would like to congratulate President HH and the UPND for finally getting this loan that they have been crying about. Some of us don’t want it, but the country has almost been on a standstill just waiting on this loan. They have placed too many solutions and almost every hope in getting this.

So hope things will now be better according to what they have been telling us. Debt restructuring will now be possible and give them the much needed breather. It is the only thing I’m also happy for them for. And that is the advantage of being in the driving seat as a party or government.

Because whatever all of us say, it remains their responsibility and decision to make as to whether we take such loans or not. The UPND and HH, you are deciding whether we drink tea or poison. And the IMF is poison, but you have decided that we take it, so this is what we shall drink as Zambians under your able leadership.

Lastly, you decided that we take this loan despite the facts that you already know. So congratulations for that and from the bottom of my heart and for the sake of Zambia, I really hope and pray that the results of this loan will be as you are saying and not the misery that has come with it on this continent, including our own country when we had to undergo the SAPs in the early 1990s. Because as always, it will be the poor that will suffer most from the consequences of this decision. The very praise singers will sing no more.

Saboi Imboela
President- NDC


  1. This one is a bitter PF cader………..

    She was even on PF podiums giving speeches hoping for a job………..

    Most of these caders will be reduced to lone street corner protesters holding placards……….

    Zambia is moving forward……….

  2. Just counter her posting not only yapping PF like a broken gramophone record. She didn’t mention PF but you are barking PF like an animal with rabies !!!

    • There’s nothing to counter with a PF cader……..

      Any association with PF renders your arguments useless and void in the eyes of the 2.8 million and counting……count be now 3.2 million

  3. Thank you saboi for educating these blind f00Iish upnd supporters. If hh defacaeted in public they would still praise him. We got loans but never celebrated. What we did was use that money to build all thr infrastructure you see around.

    • Very Cheap as usual. Go to your Convention and replace that tired drunk. One year of Zayelo as acting boss and acting vice boss ( who does that?) should give you stuff to do and sort out.

  4. You simply do not understand how far the IMF has reformed and how this deal was arrived at. Even at a personal level, i would not reject an interest free loan. The so call conditions are the same points that appear in UPND manifesto. Fighting corruption and increasing social spending. Previously, IMF would have asked government to cut jobs. This is locally driven process which has prioritized the needs of Zambians. Ask those teachers and health care workers who had to wait for 8 years to be posted. If one of them was your sister or son, you would have been quiet. Go back and read the reform agenda.

  5. Don’t worry about free education. It has already been introduced. In fact the IMF will free money that was going to debt servicing channeling it to providing more free education. In fact, the party that you are in bed with, the PF, tried hard to get this bailout but failed for years. Bally comes in and BOOM! vachitika. Vimba Opolike Saboi

  6. W e are equal to the task but even then the govt must come out open and tell the nation the conditions which as been given to the zambian govt for the procurement of this deal.Yes we have heard alot but there is one thing been hiden,the conditions of this deal.You cant get a loan from IMF without conditions so can govt come out open and tell the nation about the conditions,is it zesco going away,is it zamtel,is it Mopani or kcm we want to know please.And sur-fa-ce to say all the NGOs are quiet and the church,what a sleeping NGO and church we have in zambia.Bakandile they are in hidding and quiet waiting for the dollars.

  7. The world is evolving so get used to that. The conditions on the IMF bail out are locally devised unlike in the past when they were imposed. Surely, how dull can you be to think subsidies are sustainable without economic stimulation? Subsidies should take the form of Social Cash Transfer so that vulnerable people benefit directly. The energetic citizens should not cry for subsidies but access CDF to contribute to the economical growth. That way, we will have more money even to cater for more vulnerable citizens. If it is PF, they should just watch. Why didn’t they use the so called internally generated funds? Now that they are out, they want to show they have brains. Really laughable.

  8. Not very smart this one. Can probably articulate issues between Yo Maps and Kiddist better. No understanding of finance is very baffling.

  9. What is surprising is that people that are busy condemning the IMF bailout have no solutions themselves on how we can dig ourselves out of the over USD17 billion hole that they created. She says that we can get USD1.3 billion from the local economy, can she tell us which sector we shall tax this colossal amount from within one year? And just how would we have regained the confidence of the private lenders without the IMF’s and World Bank’s intervention ? She says this will be a reboot of the 1990s, but she forgets to mention that only a month ago, 41,000 teachers and health workers were employed by the government, and that this year both Social Cash Transfer and FISP have not only been expanded in terms of people being covered but the actual amounts as well. Would the IMF of the 1990s…

  10. Sad that you read development economies years back and have not followed the evolution since. True I cannot take anything away from you regarding your beliefs as an old school student let me say this…the current GRZ will be a test case on whether they can utilize the interest free loan in such a way that they rise enough capital to pay back and pay on time…if that happens it will be a plus…

  11. Careful Saboi you are insulting his royal highness the great one and only conqueror of Zambian poverty and also State House Residency Evader Hakainde Hichilema aka Bally. How can you imply he is not educated because he wants to Celebrate nkongole? It’s defamation of the president! Carrying a sentence of one year in chimbokaila. In China its 5 years in a camp and His Royal Highness is now good friends with Beijing so watch out!

  12. you are becoming irrelevant and this shows your lack of exposure, you are a let down becase basic information such as this can be found online without paying anyone, i am more worried for you and your followers because no development worker can speak as you do. find time to understand the Sustainable development goals and include public financing for development of any goals

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