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Minister erred: Zambia’s external debt is $7.2bn – KandetaBy Sipilisiwe Ncube on 22 Jun 2017
Ministry of Finance Spokesperson Chileshe Kandeta says minister Felix Mutati made a mistake when reading the state of the economy speech to parliament.
In an interview with News Diggers! Kandeta said it was not possible that Zambia could accumulate external dept exceeding US$10 billion within five months.
“It was a slip [of the tongue], it’s US$7.2 billion not US$17 billion. He was looking at the statement, but you know figures… there can always be a slip,” Kandeta explained.
“It’s not possible, 17 billion is not possible. Where could the US$10 billion have gone? That is not a small amount of money, so that has to be corrected” he wondered.
During the state of the economy address in the National Assembly yesterday, Mutati said Zambia’s external debt had swelled to US$17 billion by May 2017 from US$6.9 billion in December 2016.
“Mr Speaker, Zambia’s external debt stock as at the end of May 2017 increased to US $ 17.2 billion from US $ 6.9 billion in December 2016. The increase on stock was on account of new disbursements. The domestic debt stock was 38.6 billion in May 2017 compared to 33 billion in December 2016,” said Mutati.
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About Sipilisiwe Ncube
Sipilisiwe Ncube is a Zambian journalist with a background in radio news.
Email: sipilisiwe [at] diggers [dot] news
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