UPND president Hakainde Hichilema has challenged Finance Minister Bwalya Ng’andu to tell the nation where the $515 million exceptional revenue will be sourced from to finance part of the 2020 national budget.
Hichilema has urged the government not to borrow anymore, unless it is refinancing under more amicable terms.
He reiterated that some of the problems facing the nation are a result of over borrowing and poor governance.
The UPND leader said blaming climate change for the challenges facing the nation is unrealistic, adding that “all these can be resolved if they stop corruption and borrowing”.
He said he will, once in government, ensure that Zambia’s debt is reduced to avoid plunging the country into a debt crisis.
Finance Minister Bwalya Ng’andu plans to obtain almost 10 per cent of Zambia’s total income next year from undisclosed sources, raising concerns about the accuracy and sustainability of government spending plans for 2020.
The budget, which Dr Ng’andu presented in Parliament, contains 6.75 billion kwacha ($515 million) of “exceptional revenue” that could further stretch the country’s finances if it doesn’t materialize.
Government debt has surged from 20 per cent of gross domestic product a decade ago to a projected 91.6 per cent this year, prompting the International Monetary Fund to warn that Zambia is at high risk of debt distress.
“There’s a process tagged to this and an announcement will be made as soon as the process completion is attained,” a Finance Ministry spokesman said in response to questions about the source of the funds.