President Hakainde Hichilema has praised China for agreeing to participate in the IMF’s Zambia debt restructuring process and joining other creditors. During a press conference at the Statehouse in Lusaka on Monday, Hichilema stated that the government will be unable to achieve sustainable economic progress with the current debt levels.
He said he was proud to announce to the nation that he had engaged China and other creditors to negotiate a debt resolution package. As President, that’s my job, which you gave me. Working together with the Ministry of Finance and Foreign Affairs, we want to thank China for joining the common framework agreement to resolve the debt crisis, “he said. To this end, he said that Zambia has made progress with its debt restructuring program, which aims to improve the country’s economy.
He said, “You can’t build an economy with large debt mountains.” Last year, we struck a staff-level agreement with the IMF on debt restructuring. You can’t build an economy with huge debt mountains, “he said.
Despite claims from some quarters of society that he was neglecting China in the IMF negotiations, Hichilema said he personally engaged China and was delighted to announce that China had joined the common framework committee. Zambia is on track with debt restructuring, according to the Head of State, who added that all of the needed components have already been put in place in the eight months since the United Party for National Development (UPND) came to power.
Hichilema went on to say that the country’s continuing low inflation and stable exchange rate are due to the government’s efforts to stabilize the economy. The UNDP government has been on record accusing the Patriotic Front (PF) government of Edgar Lungu of throwing the country into economic misery and racking up massive debts.