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CSO Debt Alliance demand IMF debt restructuring details

CIVIL Society Organization (CSO) and Debt Alliance Chairperson Alex Muyebe says as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director Kristalina Georgieva visits Zambia, the global money lender should provide detailed information on the country’s debt restructuring.

Fr Muyebe said it is cardinal that the bottlenecks in the country’s debt restructuring process were unlocked and addressed.

He said disclosure of the details of the country’s debt restructuring would be an opportunity for government to provide updates on the implementation of the IMF Extended Credit Facility that was provided last year   

He said this at a press briefing organized by the CSO Debt Alliance to express their expectation for the IMF director and US Treasury secretary’s visit to Zambia.

Fr Muyebe said this came after Zambia had struggled to bring all its creditors together to get assurances and commence debt restructuring negotiations despite reaching a staff-level agreement with the IMF in December last year which was a prerequisite to getting an IMF executive board approval.

“Our expectation is that there will be further engagements involving IMF, Government and CSO’s regarding the implementation of the funds,” Fr Muyebe said. 

Fr Muyebe the major delay in getting all creditors in one room under the G20 common framework was largely borne by the uncertainties from distinct creditors such as Eurobond holders and China who was also the largest single creditor.

He said fortunately China reaffirmed its support to Zambia’s debt restructuring process in July 2022. Fr Muyebe said however, during the previous visit of the IMF Deputy Chief, the official creditor committee met and began deliberations on Zambia’s request for a debt treatment under the G20 Common Framework. And Center for Trade Policy and Development head of research Boyd Muleya said it was important for the Zambian government to address the economic reform fatigue Zambians had been subjected to.

The last time a high-ranking IMF official visited Zambia was between 15 and 16 June 2022 when high-level staff led by the IMF Deputy Managing Director, Antoinette Saych, held various engagements with Government, CSO’s , parliamentarians, and the donor community.

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