Debt restructuring to give time, space for Zambia to produce more – Musokotwane

Situmbeko Musokotwane

FINANCE and National Planning minister Situmbeko Musokotwane says the debt restructuring recently attained will give Zambia a breathing space and time for the country to produce more.

Featuring on Hot FM’s Red Hot Breakfast yesterday, Musokotwane hailed the deal stating that it was based on how much Zambia could afford to pay back.

“This restructuring has given us space to produce more and through hard work we can accumulate our own money,” stated Musokotwane.

On Monday, President Hakainde Hichilema announced on his social media platforms that debt restructuring deal with Eurobond holders of over $3.5 billion was concluded, a development that attracted praise from many and criticism from a few.

The finance minister however, stated that concluding the much celebrated success was a complex process as it was difficult for the creditors to agree on how much they could collectively provide.

When asked about how the deal would impact the cost of living and the national disaster, Musokotwane responded that without debt restructuring, challenges such as the high cost of living, drought and energy crisis currently being faced by Zambia would be worse.

He added that the deal will enable the country to have more liquidity to finance the constituency development fund, hospitals and schools.

“We will invest more into power, water harvesting and irrigation because the money for paying the debt would now go there,” emphasised the minister.

Musokotwane said the deal will also attract foreign direct investment (FDI) as there would be an assurance that their resources were in safe hands.

Meanwhile the minister condemned the habit of borrowing money and later defaulting.

Musokotwane said it painted a bad picture of the one borrowing whether at national or individual level.

“You don’t become rich by writing off what you owe. Copper production needs to increase to 3 million tonnes. Now we are doing 750 000 tonnes,” he reiterated.

By Catherine Pule


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