Zambia urged to present a strong case to IMF

The Centre for Trade Policy and Development (CTPD) has said the government of Zambia needs to present a strong case as the country engages with the international monetary fund (IMF) on a possible extended credit facility (ECF) program. The talks started on February 11th and will endo March 3rd.

The CTPD is of the view that the country will need a strong case which will demonstrate that its commitment to attain fiscal and debt sustainability will not be encumbered by the wind of the upcoming general elections.

CTPD Researcher -Public Finance Wakumelo Mataa said his organization expects the talks with the IMF this time around to be cordial, premised on the fact that Zambia will go to the negotiation table with a well-documented recovery strategy which seeks to restore growth, macroeconomic stability, and debt sustainability as enshrined in the recently launched Economic Recovery Plan (ERP).

Mataa however said government will need to further commit to full implementations of the reforms and strategies in the ERP and ensure that the upcoming elections do not delay the IMF deal.

Meanwhile, the opposition Alliance for Democracy and Development –ADD- Leader Charles Milupi has charged that it will be very difficult for Zambia to secure a loan from the International Monetary Fund –IMF- before this year’s general elections in August as suggested by Finance Minister Bwalya Ng’andu. Milupi has attributed this to Zambia’s deteriorated financial and economic credibility which will make it difficult to convince the IMF to give the country a loan.

He told Phoenix News that Zambia has so far exhibited poor records of honoring debt, a situation he says will in the long run weaken the kwacha further and also compromise the provision of service delivery such as health and education. He noted that what is happening to Zambia is a clear indication of a country that is economically heading in the wrong direction.

Zambia is currently holding talks with the IMF which started on February 11th and will run through to March 3rd on a formal relief programme upon a request for IMF support after becoming Africa’s first pandemic-era sovereign defaulter last year when it failed to make a payment on one of its bonds.

(Phoenix News)

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