United Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema says Zambia’s public debt has become a time bomb that will consign the country’s future generations to perpetual poverty.

And Hicholema has challenged the Patriotic Front leadership to explain to Zambians how they had utilised borrowed resources as well as provide a clear plan they would be repaid.

In a statement today, the UPND leader stated that the IMF’s remarks about Zambia’s debt stock in the Sub-Saharan region had vindicated what opposition had been saying all along.

“The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has confirmed what we have always said, that Zambia is one of the countries with the largest debt stock in sub-Saharan Africa. When we raised alarm on excessive borrowing by the PF and the reckless manner in which they were using the borrowed resources, we were called all sorts names. Zambia’s debt has now reached unsustainable levels,” Hichilema stated.

“This was despite the fact that we did not only advise against borrowing from expensive sources, but we also offered alternative financing solutions which included, prudence and investing in productive sectors. This is a tragedy and a time bomb for the country. What the PF has done is to consign future generations to perpetual debt and poverty. All the money that will be used to pay back this debt could have been deployed to education, health and agriculture.”

Hichilema challenged government to explain how and where it spent the resources it borrowed.

“To date, an army of our people, especially youths and women are struggling without decent jobs, while others are desperately being engaged in occupations that amount to slavery within our country. We challenge the PF leadership to tell the nation where the borrowed resources were applied and also give us a clear plan for repaying the money. We know that while they looted the treasury, it’s the Zambian taxpayers who will have to bear the whole burden of repaying the loans through increased in taxes. Chipantepante [lack of coordination] is now in full gear! Let us brace ourselves,” stated Hichilema.