Former Finance Minister Claims Zambia’s Public Debt Wasn’t Understated!

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Former Finance Minister Dr. Bwalya Ng’andu at a PF press briefing said the statement that the United Party for National Development (UPND) government has inherited an empty treasury is not factual.

The Former Finance Minister has advised and challenged current Finance Minister Situmbeko Musokokwane to show the actual figures the new government found in government reserves.

Dr. Ng’andu mentioned that Zambia’s Debt remains as given to Parliament in 2020, amicably denying that there is hidden debt. He further clarified that the IMF concerns were only related to the price of petroleum products and price of electricity to consumers.

“The assertions that our debt numbers were understated are not true. We have never hidden any debt. The IMF has never questioned our debt figures. The IMF never doubted our numbers” Dr. Bwalya Ngandu

“Debts sustainability negotiations are only possible if you disclose the correct figures” Dr. Bwalya Ngandu

“We challenge anyone who claims that our debt numbers were understated, to show us who the new creditors are,” Dr. Ng’andu

before adding, “To say we owe $38billion is total nonsense, someone must do their maths lessons again” Dr. Bwalya Ngandu

“If you declare a lower figure and the restructuring is based on the figure, you will not achieve your objectives of arriving at a new debt level that your economy will be able to manage. The declaration of a debt figure that is lower than the actual debt is a meaningless act of self-deception because the remedy will not be adequate to deal with the problem at hand,” he said.

“The proposition that there is hidden debt somewhere suggests that somebody has found what was hidden because it goes without saying that if you have not found what was hidden, then you don’t know what was hidden.”

The Former Minister further added that the former ruling party will obviously be keen to see who the creditors are and the amounts that were obtained.