Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Finance Minister Dr. Musokotwane Explains Debt Restructuring and Economic Outlook

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Finance Minister
Minister of Finance and National Planning Situmbeko Musokotwane

Finance Minister Dr. Situmbeko Musokotwane, in an exclusive interview on Hot-FM yesterday, provided insights into Zambia’s recent debt restructuring process and outlined key priorities for the country’s economic recovery. Here are some highlights from the interview:

  • The UPND government celebrates the successful conclusion of the debt restructuring with Eurobond holders, marking a significant milestone in addressing the country’s US$3.5 billion debt.
  • Dr. Musokotwane emphasized the complexity of the debt restructuring process, contrasting it with previous initiatives like the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative. Unlike HIPC, where Zambia owed fewer creditors, the current restructuring involved negotiations with various private creditors, making it a challenging endeavor.
  • While immediate price reductions for essential commodities may not be substantial, the minister assured citizens that some prices would decrease gradually.
  • Dr. Musokotwane underscored the critical role of international partners, particularly the IMF, in supporting Zambia’s economic stability. Adherence to commitments will be closely monitored, with IMF assessments scheduled every six months.
  • Despite progress with Eurobond holders, the government continues discussions with commercial banks and local service providers to address outstanding debts.
  • Looking ahead, Dr. Musokotwane highlighted the importance of increasing copper production and agricultural productivity to boost the economy and enhance food security. He emphasized that failure to meet obligations could jeopardize the debt restructuring program.
  • The minister cautioned against expecting debt cancellation, emphasizing the need for responsible borrowing and prudent financial management.
  • Overall, the debt restructuring agreement provides Zambia with an opportunity to prioritize investments for economic growth and stability.
  • Dr. Musokotwane’s remarks shed light on the complexities of Zambia’s debt situation and the government’s commitment to navigating these challenges while advancing economic development and stability.

Meanwhile Government has expressed concern over the spread of misinformation regarding Zambia’s recently secured debt restructuring deal. Chief Government Spokesperson Cornelius Mweetwa emphasized the need for accurate reporting on the matter, citing misinformation circulating on various platforms.

Mweetwa, who also serves as the Information and Media Minister, urged journalists to address the misinformation challenge by providing clear explanations of what the debt restructuring deal entails for the people. His remarks were delivered during the World Vision Zambia Media Awards ceremony in Lusaka, with Ministry of Information and Media Permanent Secretary Thabo Kawana representing him.

In addition to clarifying the debt restructuring deal, Mweetwa encouraged journalists to prioritize reporting on developmental issues that directly impact the populace, rather than focusing solely on politics.

John Hasse, Chief Executive Officer of World Vision Zambia, reiterated the importance of the media in keeping the public informed about significant developments. Meanwhile, Lorraine Chisanga, Chairperson of the Media Institute of Southern Africa-Zambia (MISA-Zambia), underscored the media’s role in shedding light on inequalities affecting children. Chisanga emphasized that journalists play a crucial role in holding decision-makers accountable for addressing issues affecting children across the country.

32 COMMENTS

  1. ……..

    LT……..this is very shallow reporting……

    You just say they ” explained the deal”……

    Without even giving a brief sniped of the explanation……..

    Ver poor

  2. Dept restructuring is very simple to explain. It simply say “I do not have money to pay today and I will pay you tomorrow”. Meanwhile you are giving tax holidays to the mine. How are you going to pay tomorrow?

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    • How much is being saved in intrest payments…..?

      How much longer will the debt be rescheduled for….?

      How does this affect zambias credit rating….?

    • @Spaka, we just need a president who has a solution to debt repayment and proper management of our natural resources. Not a beggar western puppet.

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    • Your mentor Lungu failed to correct his mess, now you are looking for Jesus to perform miracles. If you have nothing positive to contribute just zip it.

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  3. A line that catches my eye, “Despite progress with Eurobond holders, the government continues discussions with commercial banks and local service providers to address outstanding debts.”
    You mean that there are still more debts?
    What was PF doing to get Zambia into such a desperate position?
    PF should be ashamed of themselves; they are shameless and malicious when the criticise the current government and spread lies and propaganda.

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  4. This is finite breathing space the creditors have given us. We can now begin the slow process of building a sinking fund (an interest earning sum of money to which you continue adding more money periodically so that you come up with the debt amount on date of payment) so that when it’s time to pay up, we do not default again. It’s the only way we will establish a track record. Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane should say when that process will begin. The road ahead will not be any easier. It’s mad, mad world out there.

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    • @Gunner in Zambia
      And when we default its game over for Zambia…..same thing happened to Argentina..Greece..Srilanka and Ghana….IMF doesn’t work in the interest of any other country apart from the US….we are not good at keeping tabs and paying back…Zambia will definitely default and blame it on drought….HH knew what he was doing when he declared drought as a national disaster

  5. PF debt is known by every Jim and Jack. But the UPND is playing hide and seek with their own recently accrued loans. The NewDawn has contracted significant debt, starting with the IMF and additional funding from the WB, EU and various cooperating partners which GRZ feels uncomfortable publicly discussing. Also, the local currency Kwacha credit hasn’t been rescheduled; it did not attract the 2024 Agreement.
    Can the minister give a parliamentary statement on these important matters aside from the social media presidential posts?

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    • The UPND has contracted low-cost debt from the World Bank. If you run into trouble, the WB will negotiate with you so that the debt is restructured. The PF borrowed from bond markets, that is, private lenders and the money was always too expensive for Zambia. Negotiations with the WB are easier because you deal with one party. Bonds are held by pension funds and university endowments who represent many private interests. This makes negotiation if you’re unable to pay very challenging.

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  6. Long live HH, Long live the New Dawn government. We started seeing some indicators of economic progress. We have also started seems some sanity in parliament and thanks to SC, Hon Nelly Muti and your Deputy speakers fpr not condoning rubixh in parliament

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  7. Musokotwane knows that this won’t work and he has already started shifting the goal post….just read between the lines….” I don’t have money to pay today but I will pay tomorrow”…..so if tomorrow comes and you start giving stories and still don’t have money to pay then Zambia will end up worse than Argentina or Greece …..so technically there’s nothing to celebrate here…this thing is far from over…not even close

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  8. Trying to explain the obvious….and already Musokotwane is trying to explain to its gullible praise singers who celebrated the same thing at the Airport…….in short Zambia is still in big trouble because what they’ve done is just applying band aid but the wound is still there and its getting worse underneath the bandaid…..come talk to me in 6 months or one year from today

  9. My fellow countrymen the wise are the ones who keep there mouth shut,the truth will unfold HH will use this opportunity to fool Zambians to give him more time,but more time for what ?HH has simply asked for postponing of debt repayment but do you think the Zambian economy will be turned around by just lies with all the hidden deals being arranged by government

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  10. Kikikikiki not so fast….Musokotwane wayamba nyimbo already…..no need to explain lets just wait for 6 months and am sure by then they will find more excuses as to why things are not working

  11. And they will blame it on drought and loadsheding when things start going south……Musokotwane explaining economic outlook but at the same time being doubtful….anyway he doesn’t want to be held accountable because deep down his heart he knows that they’ve done nothing

  12. Can someone explain to me in Nyanja what Musokotwane is trying to say…..its a done deal and at the same time its not a done deal…which one is it????

  13. @My Zambia
    UPND is just good at fooling its gullible followers….and they’re making things worse….even failing to explain simple ” i don’t have money to pay today but I promise I will pay tomorrow….”….and its gullible followers think bebt has disappeared

  14. The Almighty Supreme leader Ayatollah Hakainde Hichilema said its a done deal and Musokotwane is saying no we still negotiating with some Banks…..Government of lies and deceit

  15. The biggest problem is that the people we owe money are the same ones we have freely given our natural resources to. We have no money to pay them, but they have kept on stealing, evading tax. When our locals do mine, they are called illegal miners. Why have you closed Kasenseli mine? Is it because Zambians can’t be legalised? Since defaulting in 2020, we have not paid any nkongole. What savings have we made. Why was there no Sinking Fund by UPND? Lies, inconsistencies, bragging and contracting more debt, is our norm.

    • @My Zambia
      The problem with us Africans is that we lie to ourselves way too much….just to make ourselves feel better we think debt restructuring is the way foward but at the same time let’s give away our natural resources for free…

    • How do you set up a sinking fund without a deal with your creditors? A sinking fund is time-sensitive so you have to know how long a breathing space you have from your creditors. I hope you get it now.

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  16. Debt restructuring isn’t equal to debt relief. You knew repayment is mandatory, regardless of the 2024 Agreement or maturity. Plan your debt and don’t rely on miracles. Don’t gift natural resources to creditors while talking about a Sinking Fund. They are ripping you and you are reaping nothing.

  17. @kci

    ECL brought this Kaloba now you are busy condemning the person trying very hard to sort out the messy left by your darling what kind of thinking is this? Learn to appreciate others when you have performed well. Otherwise having such kind of thinking no one will help you in an event where you have serious problems.

  18. Anonymous March 28, 2024 At 8:18 am
    Musokotwane knows that this won’t work, and he has already started shifting the goal post….just read between the lines….” I don’t have money to pay today but I will pay tomorrow”.

    Please engage in entrepreneurship as Zambians not just talking, if you went through the normal secondary school not Matero school of excellence in goofing documents you will remember a certain country in 1918 called Weimer Republic, they went through the toughest problems not what we are seeing now. But guess what that country after rebranding and introducing mandatory entrepreneurship its now one the best country in world now.

  19. Debt restructuring is like shuffling around your dining chairs. It does not mean that you have paid your debt. Sometimes it could mean that you have made it more expensive by extending the terms and lifespan. In financial terms, this is known as compounding. Making the money work hard for you. The ones who should be dancing are the creditors really not Zambians.

  20. Debt restructuring is good news but I wish to know exactly the terms of negotiation with creditors. Have they extend the repayment period or reduced interest rate or forgiven a portion from the debt? What is the true picture?

  21. @Justin Makasa
    Everything is done in secrecy under UPND……with or without debt restructuring Zambia will remain the same nothing will change…

  22. @Justin Makasa
    Remember according to HH….Zambia ended loadsheding and there’s no loadsheding in Zambia……water and electricity is now 24/7 under HH….the streets are clean no chorela no one has died of chorela ever since HH became President…the Presidential jet was sold and HH had made zero foreign trips since becoming President

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