STEVEN MVULA, Lusaka
WHILE Zambia’s debt has long been a subject of interest, the publication of the country’s public debt portfolio yesterday by the Ministry of Finance which revealed a figure of about K27 billion did not seem to surprise many financial experts.
The only surprise was that it includes debt owed to local firms such as Mikalile Trading, which the country owes US$306,205,508. Earlier this month, Minister of Finance Situmbeko Musokotwane told Parliament that the country’s external debt stands at US$14.48 billion, which includes US$1.57 billion by parastatals that Government guaranteed to the creditors. “The debt that I have highlighted so far is just the external component,” he said. “But there is also substantial domestic debt including arrears to suppliers that the Government must deal with. This, of course, makes the situation worse.” Yesterday, the Ministry of Finance issued a public debt summary for Zambia as at last June. The figures presented depict the current debt position as recorded in the government books but are also subject to confirmation and reconciliation with creditors. The summary of the country’s external debt by the Ministry of Finance indicated that Zambia’s total public debt is US$26.44 billion, which rises to US$26.96 billion when interest arrears are added. According to the notice, public CLICK TO READ MORE