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NGO cautions govt against borrowing

By ANDREW MUKOMA

A CONSORTIUM of NINE (9) civil society organizations has   cautioned government to avoid the   prioritizing  borrowing as a vehicle for development. 

Youth Development Organisation Executive Director, Partner Siabutuba, on behalf of the organisations, has advised government to borrow only when supplementing where local resources  fail  to complete developmental projects. 

Mr Siabutuba is of the view that borrowing should be on merit and must adequately be scrutinized.

“Whilst we understand and appreciate the fact that as a country we have to borrow to champion and enhance the socio-economic prosperity of our people, including reducing the existing inequalities in our society, we still believe the debt that we have accrued as a country is unnecessarily high and has undermined the developmental aspirations of the country,” Siabutuba said.

He said that the consortium has agreed that Zambia is sitting on a huge debt mountain, whose benefit is not reflected in the quality of   lives of citizens that are duty bound to repay it.

Other members of the consortium  include Positive Action on Human Rights, Freedom and Development (PAHRFD), Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR), Mabana Community Outreach, Young Women Christian Association, (YWCA), Opennet4All, Caritas Zambia, Zambia Corruption Prevention Watchdog and Chikanta Community Schools Development Project.

He has since advised government to focus on addressing the current debt burden, while striking a balance to ensure the social sector does not suffer at the hands of billions of kwacha leaving the country to service foreign loans.

Mr Siabutuba said this during the recent two day’s media and civil society organizations’ training organized by CSO Debt Alliance held in Choma over the weekend.

Meanwhile, Siabutuba has advised government to commit to legislation which demands cabinet to consult the people through the National Assembly before contracting any debt.

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