Zambia's Debt Predicted To Increase To US$24 Billion In Three Years

Zambia’s Former Finance Minister Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane has projected that Zambia will have a total debt of $24.46 billion by 2021 if the current borrowing trends by the PF government continues.

Dr Musokotwane said the PF Government has been borrowing US $2.46 billion per annum which means that within a space of 5 years, the PF Government has borrowed the equivalent of US $12.29 billion.

He said the current borrowing trends will see the country’s debt levels ballooning to $24.46 billion by 2021, when the PF’s term of office comes to an end.

Dr Situmbeko who is also Chairman for Finance and Economic in the opposition UPND said this level of debt will imply an economic catastrophe for Zambia.

“This is why the IMF and local independent economists are calling on the government to scale down on borrowing. This is why the IMF are refusing to assist Zambia unless the government demonstrates credible commitment to slowing down on borrowing,” Dr Situmbeko stated.

“Let me present these facts from another perspective. In 2011 when the PF Government took office, Government used 17% of domestic revenues to service its debt. By 2014, this ratio had increased to 25% and by 2017, it increased further to 29%. If the government does not scale back on new loans, the percentage of revenue allocated to debt servicing could even reach 40 percent over the next six years,” he predicted.

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