Zambia headed for a debt trap-CSPR

The Civil Society for Poverty Reduction (CSPR) has expressed concern over the rate at which government is borrowing money and has called for a stop to the ‘bad’ practice which is threatening to push the country into a debt trap.

CSPR board chairperson  said it was not necessary for government to continue borrowing money when the country had already incurred a huge debt in the short time the PF has been in office.

He advised government to first pay back the money its earlier borrowed from international financiers before securing other loans. Mr Lijimu said as much as CSPR understood government’s good intentions to develop the agriculture sector; it was against the idea of excess borrowing which he said was dangerous as it would push Zambia into a serious debt trap.

“As much as it is necessary to find ways of boosting the agriculture sector, the rate at which government is borrowing money is dangerous,” he said.

Mr Lijimu said government should not be calling for increased borrowing when it knew that it was the common citizens who would be affected by the huge loans.

“It is unacceptable that the government has continued to borrow when the country still has outstanding debts. Let them find other means of boosting the agriculture sector instead of relying on borrowing which is not the best solution,” he said.

Government has proposed to issue another US$ 1 billion Eurobond specifically to develop agriculture and which could come through before the end of the year.

Mr. Lijimu noted with dismay that in many instances, money borrowed by government had not fully benefited the targeted sectors. He said government should also learn to consult interested stakeholders before contracting another international bond as a way of controlling borrowing.