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DEBT SWAP CANCELLED

....debt swamped civil servants in dilemma

By SENIYA BANDA

FINANCIAL institutions will commence the deduction of funds from civil servants’ salaries this June month-end following the cancellation of the debt swap, the Civil Servants and Allied Workers Union of Zambia (CSAWUZ) has disclosed.

In September 2021, Government suspended the debt swap scheme and called for consultations on the matter which has led to its cancellation due to financial implications.

CSAWUZ President Davy Chiyobe said following Government and stakeholders’ decision not to go ahead with the debt swap, civil servants have to pay monies owed to financial institutions through deductions which will commence next month.

Mr Chiyobe said the union will start on a campaign to inform civil servants on the outcome of the consultation with the government on the debt swap.

He said the reasons for ditching the debt swap were because Government needed about K5 million which was not in the budget pipeline.

Mr Chiyobe said that the debt swap was a bogus arrangement which most questioned as being political as it was done just before the elections when a lot of time was needed to conduct this programme.

“The previous government did not carry out proper consultations with stakeholders like Banks and even the civil servants themselves,” he said.

He said the budget implications to operationalise  the scheme was huge and that money was not readily available.

Mr Chiyobe said that they would engage the civil servants so that all those that had loans cleared at the month end.

“The debt swap was intonated with politics because people argued that it was done in haste when it should have been done way back,” he said.

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