Zambia’s external debt more than figures given by govt – Simumba

Zambia’s external debt more than figures given by govt – Simumba

International Trade Consultant Trevor Simumba believes that Zambia’s current external debt is more than  what the government is stating.

He explains that :

The $7 billion being touted does not include Chinese project finance debt of approximately circa US$10 billion. As they say the devil is in the details. We are being distracted. Parliament need to ask the right questions. Just a snippet of announced Chinese loan funded projects: 1. KKIA new terminal: $320 million. 2. Copperbelt International Airport: $397 million. 3. L400 roads: $422 million. 4. C 400 CB roads: $493 million. Kafue Lower Gorge Hydro: $2 billion (cost increased from $800 million under MMD to $2 billion under PF after it was cancelled). Serenje to Eastern Province TAZARA rail link: $2.3 billion. Just these selected comes to US$5.932 billion. If we were to dig deeper we would find another US$5 billion if you include the dual carriage way project, roads in Western province that is costing billions alone due to the complexity of the road over the plains of Western Province. There has been serious abuse by this Government when it comes to Chinese loans that are obtained without any transparency and contracted out by Ministers and senior civil servants without proper due process with very little benefit to the nation but at great cost. Remember Chinese money though cheap has to be PAID BACK. IT IS A LOAN NOT A GRANT OR CHARITY.

One more thing. Chinese loan funds never come into the Treasury as they are project finance and the Chinese Government pays contractors directly! This means there is very little link to local industry as almost everything is imported from China including Labour!


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