Ruling UPND Sesheke Member of Parliament Romeo Kangombe has charged that the Patriotic Front (PF) must be grateful that President Hakainde Hichilema has restructured the huge debt they accrued while in Government.
The New Dawn Government has earned Zambia the bailout package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Some people have argued that the US$1.3 Billion bailout package from the IMF is not a lasting solution to liquidating Zambia’s debt that stands at over $17 billion.
In 2020, Zambia became the first African country in the Covid-19 pandemic era to default debt payment and this followed the proposed restructuring of the external debt.
In an interview, Mr. Kangombe said the huge debt left by the PF Government did not even benefit the country.
He said the country should celebrate the restructuring of debt which was a burden on Zambia saying the IMF will advance homegrown reforms.
Mr. Kangombe said the Patriotic Front and its supporters have no moral right to condemn the IMF support program because their administration brought the country to its knees owing to reckless borrowing
“PF must be grateful that President Hakainde Hichilema has restructured the huge debt they accrued while in Government which never even benefited the country.The country is celebrating the restructuring of debt which was a burden on our country. The IMF will advance homegrown reform plan to restore debt sustainability, create fiscal space for much-needed social spending, and strengthen economic governance. This is what the country is celebrating,” Mr. Kangombe said.
“The Patriotic Front party and its surrogates have no moral right to condemn the IMF support program because of their administration which brought the country to this level through reckless borrowing.PF borrowed recklessly and used the money for personal luxury not for national development. They should appreciate President Hakainde Hichilema for cleaning their mess, not these ungrateful comments we are seeing. Hakainde Hichilema has spent One year of his time in office sorting out debt problems left by PF, so for once let these goons have a sense of shame,” said Mr. Kangombe.
“Yesterday Zambia woke up to the long awaited news of the IMF bailout. The IMF Board approved a US$1.3 billion 38-month ECF arrangement for Zambia to help restore macroeconomic stability and foster higher, more resilient, and more inclusive growth. Zambia is dealing with the legacy of years of economic mismanagement, with an especially inefficient public investment drive. Growth has been too low to reduce rates of poverty and inequality that are amongst the highest in the world. Zambia is in debt distress and needs a deep and comprehensive debt treatment to place public debt on a sustainable path.”
Experts say the IMF bailout will help re-establish sustainability through fiscal adjustment and debt restructuring, create fiscal space for social spending to cushion the burden of adjustment, and strengthen economic governance, including by improving public financial management.
Other financial analysts said the program will also catapult the much needed financial support from development partners.
Minutes after the news broke out on Thursday morning, President Hichilema hailed the IMF announcement as a vote of confidence in the UPND Government and in the people of Zambia.
“The international community has recognised the progress we have made, and our commitment to reviving our economy and becoming a responsible member of the family of nations. Today’s announcement will culminate in jobs for our people, a more affordable cost of living, and enhanced development prospects for every province in our country. We are grateful to the IMF Board, and cooperating partners for your sustained support. To the people of Zambia, we say ‘Thank you’ for believing in us and for the collective hard work and sacrifices made in achieving this milestone. It is now time to get back to work. There is still more to be done,” Mr. Hichilema posted on facebook.