Debt

Eleven civil society organizations on Monday called more proactive action from government in dealing with the debt problem which is seen as the major factor to the country’s economic woes.

In a joint statement, the organizations said they were deeply concerned about the country’s debt situation which continues to inhibit government expenditure, and subsequently affecting citizens’ livelihoods.

“Zambia’s economy- and its citizens- are struggling, and national debt is at the heart of the issue,” the statement said.

While acknowledging discussions about re-engagement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which could offer valuable concessional finance if it materialized, the organizations expressed concern with a seeming lack of substantial progress in agreeing on a support package with the IMF.

“With or without the IMF, however, tough action on debt cannot be avoided for much longer. Government needs to take urgent and deliberate action to put the economy back on track,” the statement added.

Due to Zambia’s debt levels, ordinary citizens are experiencing a high cost of living, driven in part by the weakening local currency, high fees and taxes and reduced job opportunities, combined with low investor confidence, it said.

According to the statement, the government needs to show political will in dealing with the debt situation by putting in place long-term measures to generate confidence in the country’s economy. Enditem

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