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We need to successfully restructure our debt, with the active engagement of the bondholders, HH says



OPPOSITION United Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema has charged that the country faces a real risk of holdout creditors taking legal action to seize sovereign assets after failing to pay US$40 million coupon.

In a statement issued, Mr Hichilema has since urged Government pay the US$ 42.5 million defaulted to unlock the support from bondholders, as it embarks on negotiations to restructure the debt.

“There are reports already that some creditors have embarked on a process to determine a possible payout to holders of default insurance, which may trigger a chain of collection of payouts that could lead to the recall of the loans in full.

Some banks are considering withdrawing confirmations of letters of credit issued to our business community, while others have suspended the global custody service and advised their clients to change future investment strategies for our country,” Mr Hichilema said.

He said to avoid the risk, Government should immediately engage the International Monitory Fund and request for a staff programme, as a basis to embark on the journey to earn credibility, creditworthiness.

The UPND leader further said the move will give the needed assurance to the creditors and potential investors of the commitment to a coherent recovery programme.

“The government must provide a full picture of our public external debt, domestic debt and private debt by quasi-government institutions that are not publicly guaranteed (including those contracted by companies now owned by ZCCM IH and IDC), arrears to suppliers of goods and services to the government and VAT refund exposure,” he said.

He also said the full disclosure must cover the terms on which the debt was contracted.

Mr Hichilema said Government should also scale up the engagement with all creditors, especially the bondholders, who feel that the level of engagement has so far fallen short.

He has further said Government should revise the 2021 budget which he says has significant gaps.

Mr Hichilema said the theme of the budget should be to cut all wasteful expenditures, such as slush funds, bogus expenditures on harmful and sub-standard goods and services, huge emoluments spent on politicians’ lifestyle, including the presidential jet.

“We encourage the PF to learn from the experience of Argentina and Ecuador, which only a couple of months ago successfully restructured their debt, with the active engagement of the bondholders.” he said.


FIFA Women’s World Cup Trophy Tours Zambia. As MultiChoice hosts the prized trophy



THE FIFA Women’s World Cup Trophy has touched down in Zambia as part of the global tour by FIFA as a build-up to the Women’s World Cup games.

The spellbinding journey – which, for the first time, is offering all 32 qualified nations the chance to see Women’s football’s biggest prize up close before the football show kicks off in Australia and New Zealand from 20th July 2023 to 20th August 2023. Zambia is one of the 32 nations that have qualified for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The event to welcome the celebrated trophy was held at MultiChoice Zambia and speaking at the occasion Leah Kooma, Managing Director at MultiChoice Zambia said, “The FIFA Women’s World Cup Trophy tour is in many ways a great initiative for everyone who loves football. It has provided a great chance for football fans, particularly in Zambia, to be close to one of the most iconic symbols in Women’s football”.

She added, “We have the world cup right here, the girls have qualified and just this means the girls stand a chance to bring the cup back to Zambia.”

MultiChoice will carry live all the games of the FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament on your World of Champions, SuperSport both on DStv and GOtv platforms. The live broadcast of the World Cup games will avail many Zambian fans and the rest of the continent an opportunity to watch and follow their favorite game in the comfort of their space.

The trophy tour gives football fans around the participating countries the opportunity to get ready to taste the feeling of the most anticipated sporting event – the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The first leg of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Trophy Tour kicked off in Morocco before heading to South Africa and then Zambia. The trophy will conclude its African tour on 26th March in Nigeria before heading to South America.

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IMF mission jets in Zambia for first review discussions



AN International Monetary Fund(IMF) mission has arrived in Lusaka to commence the first review of Zambia’s IMF Program under an Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement, and Article IV consultations.

The discussions come after Zambia received Executive Board approval for an IMF programme in August 2022.

The IMF programme supports the government’s reform plan to restore debt sustainability, create fiscal space for much-needed social spending, and achieve sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

The IMF delegation which is in the country is being led by Allison Holland, Mission Chief for Zambia, and will be in Zambia from March 22–5 April to undertake the first review and Article IV consultation.

This is contained in a statement issue by Secretary to the Treasury Felix Nkulukusa.

As part of the programme, the IMF will be undertaking scheduled regular reviews to assess Zambia’s progress in implementation of the ECF programme.

During this first review and Article IV Consultation, the IMF will collect economic and financial information, and discuss the country’s economic developments and policies.

“The Fund will be assessing performance in areas such as restoration of fiscal and debt sustainability; improving debt management and transparency; strengthening governance and financial sector stability; and strengthening financial management,” statement reads.

Mr Nkulukusa said the Ministry of Finance and National Planning is pleased to welcome the IMF Mission Team back to Lusaka and to have the opportunity to discuss Zambia’s positive reform progress and next steps in the program implementation.

He said government remains committed to delivering positive economic impacts for the country and improving the livelihoods of the Zambian people with the support of IMF.

(Mwebantu, Thursday, 23rd March, 2023)

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Preeta Law takes office as UNHCR’s new Representative in Zambia



NEWLY appointed United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Representative to Zambia Preeta Law says she looks forward to continuing the strong collaboration between UNHCR and the Zambian Government and other stakeholders.

Ms Law who has assumed her official duties in the country served as UNHCR Representative in South Africa and as Special Adviser in the Division of International Protection in UNHCR Headquarters prior to her appointment.

She was deployed in complex humanitarian situations in Myanmar and the former Yugoslavia and has held other senior positions in UNHCR, including Deputy Director in the Division of International Protection in UNHCR Headquarters.

Prior to UNHCR ,Ms Law worked with women’s civil society organizations in India.

She holds a B.A. in political science and anthropology from Sarah Lawrence College in the United States.

“I am honored to assume my role as representative in this beautiful and generous country, which has a long history of providing refuge and protection to those forced to flee war and persecution and finding solutions for them,I forward to continuing the strong collaboration that has long characterized UNHCR’s partnership with the Government of Zambia, members of the diplomatic community, UN agencies, non-governmental organizations, civil society and other stakeholders in the refugee programme in Zambia,”said Ms Law.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Stanley Kakubo says Government remains committed to offer an open door to those seeking asylum and freedom from war and persecution.

(Mwebantu, Wednesday, 22nd March, 2023)

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