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Debt restructuring discussions still going on-VEEP

• Discussions are going on to try and come to a conclusion.
• Zambia does not negotiate with the G20 but International Monetary Fund official creditors.
• Government is not getting a loan from anywhere for Lusaka-Ndola Dual Carriage Way.

Vice President says discussions on Zambia’s debt restructuring process are ongoing and will soon come to a conclusive end.
Speaking in Parliament during the Vice President’s question and answer session, Mutale Nalumango says Zambia does not negotiate with the G20 countries but International Monetary Fund (IMF) official creditors.
Mrs. Nalumango however said she cannot give a timeline on when the discussions will be concluded because Zambia is not directly dealing with the G20 Common Framework.
“Discussions are going on to try and come to a conclusion, I cannot give you timeline but G20 is another entity that we have not gone in, there could be individuals who are our Creditors that is a different matter.”
“So I cannot give timeline with an institution that we are not dealing with directly,”Mrs. Nalumango stated.
She was responding to Nalolo Member of Parliament who wanted to know how the G20 Common Framework debt restructuring talks are faring and also when the discussions will be concluded.
The Common Framework is intended to deal with insolvency and protracted liquidity problems, along with the implementation of an IMF-supported reform program.
It was announced in November 2020 to deal with the issue of unsustainable debts faced by various countries as an impact of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Nalumango clarified that government is not borrowing any funds to facilitate construction of the US$577 million Lusaka-Ndola Dual Carriage Way as the Contractor Macro-Oceans Investment Consortium Limited, will finance the project under the Public Private Partnership (PPP).
“This will be done under PPP and therefore government is not borrowing because I think this is misleading the people. The contractor is the one who will fund the financiers it is not government, government has a relationship with the contractor and the contractor must have a relationship with the financier.”
“So government cannot come here and start ratifying loans that we have not gotten, government is not getting a loan from anywhere. Let us not mislead ourselves, wherever they choose to get a loan and if that institution has the capacity, it is a loan that is signed between that institution and the contractor,” she explained.
Mrs. Nalumango was responding to Chinsali Member of Parliament who wanted to know the implication of the recovery that will be gotten from the toll gates by the contractor who will be doing the road.
“This implies that the government in effect has borrowed money which when the contractor will be recovering, then it’s like the government is paying back which in effect we can say that it is a loan. Have we complied with the requirement that before we borrow money we need to bring that for ratifications so that it is voted for by this Parliament,” he questioned.

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