Former Republican vice-President Nevers Mumba says the 2018 national budget is a hoax because finance minister Felix Mutati lied to Parliament about Zambia’s true debt position.

In an interview with News Diggers! Mumba said the PF was afraid of disclosing the correct figures of how much the country was owing.

“Our position on the budget is that it’s a hoax. It’s a hoax because this government has told lies both to Parliament and to the international community on the debt stock of our country. The MMD has raised this issue consistently that Mr Mutati is lying that the debt of this country is US$7.9 billion. We have presented to him and to the ministry of finance relatively accurate numbers gotten from the ministry of finance itself and from the officers there, showing that the debt is about US$23 billion as we sit right now,” Mumba said.

“Now the reason they are not telling the truth right is because they are afraid of what the international community is going to give, but unfortunately for them some of them have come to us and asked for those details so that they can investigate those numbers, and they are agreeing with us.”

He said the 2018 budget did not make sense because its figures were not tallying with reality.

“So the budget can not be accurate because first of all they have not come face to face to agree with the fact that we owe so much. So all the numbers they have put there can not produce the expected results because there is a hole in those figures by the compromised levels of debt,” said Mumba.

“So basically we do not have much respect and expectation from this particular budget apart from the lies that they are telling in the numbers. So if they have told lies in the numbers of the debt, there are many lies of numbers in that budget. And we think that it is a budget that is not going to be different from anyone of the other budgets that they have produced.”