ZAMBIA BEING USED AS GUINEA PIGS IN DEBT RESTRUCTURING – HH
By Darius Choonya
Republican President Hakainde Hichilema says Zambia is being used as a guinea pig in the G20 Common Framework in relation to the debt restructuring process.
He says developed countries await to see the country conclude the process as failure, to do so would mean disaster for other countries in need of help.
In his annual greetings address to the diplomatic corp on Friday January 26, 2024, Mr. Hichilema also says if the process does not finalise, it will negate the gains that the country has made in its economic recovery program.
He has also disclosed that two countries are yet to sign the deal hence asking diplomats accredited to Zambia for their governments to speed up their work to ensure the country’s debt restructuring efforts succeed.
Zambia, which is seeking to restructure $6.3 billion in bilateral debt, signed up to use the Common Framework to restructure its debts three years ago, after becoming the continent’s first pandemic-era sovereign defaulter in November 2020.
But the progress has been painfully slow, and hit a deadlock in November when official lenders rejected a deal with bondholders, saying the commercial creditors needed to take a bigger loss.-Diamond TV