By Mercy Chewe
UPND Sesheke Member of Parliament Romeo Kangombe says Zambians should celebrate the restructuring of national debt following the clinching of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout package by the New Dawn Government.
The US$1.3 Billion bailout package from the IMF was confirmed on Thursday morning.
In an interview, Mr. Kangombe said the huge debt left by the Patriotic Front (PF) Government did not even benefit the country.
Mr. Kangombe said the Patriotic Front and its supporters have no moral right to condemn the IMF support program.
“PF must be grateful that President Hakainde Hichilema has restructured the huge debt they accrued while in Government which never even benefited the country. The country is celebrating the restructuring of debt which was a burden on our country. The IMF will advance homegrown reform plans to restore debt sustainability, create fiscal space for much-needed social spending, and strengthen economic governance. This is what the country is celebrating,” he said.
“The Patriotic Front party and its surrogates have no moral right to condemn the IMF support program because of their administration which brought the country to this level through reckless borrowing.PF borrowed recklessly and used the money for personal luxury not for national development. They should appreciate President Hakainde Hichilema for cleaning their mess, not these ungrateful comments we are seeing. Hakainde Hichilema has spent One year of his time in office sorting out debt problems left by PF, so for once let these goons have a sense of shame,” said Mr. Kangombe.
The Lawmaker said: “Yesterday Zambia woke up to the long awaited news of the IMF bailout. The IMF Board approved a US$1.3 billion 38-month ECF arrangement for Zambia to help restore macroeconomic stability and foster higher, more resilient, and more inclusive growth. Zambia is dealing with the legacy of years of economic mismanagement, with an especially inefficient public investment drive. Growth has been too low to reduce rates of poverty and inequality that are amongst the highest in the world. Zambia is in debt distress and needs a deep and comprehensive debt treatment to place public debt on a sustainable path.”
According to financial experts, the IMF bailout will help re-establish sustainability through fiscal adjustment and debt restructuring, create fiscal space for social spending to cushion the burden of adjustment, and strengthen economic governance, including by improving public financial management.