Economic and Trade Expert Trevor Simumba has charged that Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe lacks the necessary skills to get Zambia out of the current debt crisis.
Mr Simumba was reacting to the latest Economic Brief released by the Ministry of Finance on Monday.
He said Mrs Mwanakatwe needs help in managing the country’s economy.
“The Economic Brief makes for sad reading and is a clear sign that 2019 will be a very difficult year. Instead of burying our heads in the sand I have stated countless times we need a national Indaba and address this issue of the debt squarely and transparently,” Mr Simumba said.
Mr Simumba said the county needs tangible solutions for the economy and not mere workshops or seminars, in an apparent reference to the planned Economics Summit by the Economics Association of Zambia.
“We do not need academic talk shops where papers are presented NO. We need solutions. The Minister does not have the skills nor the experience to get Zambia out of this mess. She needs help,” he stated.
“When we said that Zambia’s debt was rising and was not sustainable all sorts of names were hurled at me,” he said.
“Now today the Government admits that external debt alone is $10.0 billion. “As at end December 2018, external debt was USD 10.05 bln compared to USD 8.74 bln at end of 2017. The rise is attributed to INCREASED DISBURSEMENTS ON PREVIOUSLY CONTRACTED LOANS for on-going economic infrastructure programmes”.
“Basically “previously contracted loans” are Chinese inflated loans. There is still another $2 to $3 billion yet to be accounted for of these corruptly obtained Chinese infrastructure loans,” he warned.
He charged that it is so sad to see this level of incompetence and downright unpatriotic leadership take this country down.
“Every senior public servant and technocrat should be ashamed of themselves for participating in the plunder and destruction of the Zambian economy.”