Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe has maintained that Zambia’s debt stock as at end December, 2017 stands at US$8.7 billion for external debt, K48.4 billion Domestic Debt and K12.7 billion Domestic arrears.
Ms Mwanakatwe says these are the loans that the government has contracted.
The Finance Minister states that every contracted loan is published in the Government’s Mid-Year and Annual Economic Reports that are laid before the National Assembly as required by law.
She says the Economic Reports are widely distributed both to electronic and print media audiences.
Ms Mwanakatwe says there have been insinuations in some quarters that the IMF requested the Zambian Government to carry out an independent audit of its debt.
The Finance Minister says her ministry is not aware of such a request and that there has never been requested by any entity, including the IMF, to conduct such an exercise.
She adds that her ministry has been conducting Debt Sustainability Analysis (DSA) exercises annually and this is done with credible international partners, including the IMF, World Bank, and the Macroeconomic and Financial Management Institute (MEFMI) of Eastern and Southern Africa.
Ms Mwanakatwe has since appealed to members of the public that may not be clear with economic data and information to always contact the ministry of finance and obtain clarity to ensure balanced, factual, and credible reporting.
This is contained in a statement issued to QFM News by Ministry of Finance Head of Public Relations Chileshe Kandeta.