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President Hakainde Hichilema has thanked China for coming on board to commit and join other creditors in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Zambia debt restructuring process.
Speaking during the first quarter of the 2022 press conference at Statehouse in Lusaka on Monday, Hichilema, emphasized that it will be difficult for the government to record sustainable economic development with the current debt levels.
“Am proud to announce to the nation that we engaged China, we engaged other creditors to negotiate a debt resolution package, I engaged China myself as President that’s my job, which you gave me, working together with the Ministry of Finance, Foreign Affairs we want to thank China for joining the common framework agreement to resolve the debt crisis,” he disclosed.
He said that to this effect Zambia has recorded progress with the debt restructuring program which is targeted at restoring and reviving the country’s economy.
“Last year we reached the staff-level agreement with the IMF on the debt restructuring, you can’t build the economy with huge debt mountains, and we undertook a decision to dismantle this debt and create room to release resources towards debt servicing in the economy to create jobs and grow the economy,” he said.
Hichilema added that contrary to assertions by some sectors of the society that he was ignoring China in the IMF negotiation process, he personally engaged China, and was proud to announce that China is now part of the common framework committee.
The Head of State explained that within the eight months that the United Party for National Development (UPND) has been in office, Zambia is on course with the debt restructuring, adding that all the required components have already been put in place.
Hichilema further stated that it’s not a coincidence that the country has continued to record a reduced inflation rate and stable exchange rate but that it is because of the measures that the government has continued to implement to bring stability to the country’s economy.
The UNDP government has been on record blaming its predecessor Patriotic Front (PF) under Edgar Lungu for plunging the country into economic hardships and incurring colossal debts.