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ZAMBIA: Debt burden worsens as Govt defaults on Eurobond payment

ZAMBIA: Debt burden worsens as Govt defaults on Eurobond payment

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Zambia has become the African country to default on paying creditors in the face of Coronavirus pandemic.

The country failed to meet Friday 13th November, 2020 deadline to pay a $42.5m interest to bondholders.

This comes after the bondholders rejected Zambia’s request for a six months interest payment freeze to April 2021.

Finance Minister, Dr. Bwalya Ngandu met with the Eurobond holders committee to discuss on whether the debt payment could be deferred to a later date but the request has been turned down.

Dr. Ngandu says Government is committed to pursue a constructive and transparent dialogue with all its creditors.

Eurobond holders account for about $3 billion of Zambia’s sovereign debt.

Earlier in the day Vice President, Inonge Wina informed Parliament following queries from opposition MPs that the country would not default.

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She added that the government was concerned and that the Minister of Finance, Dr. Bwalya Ngandu was to issue a statement on the matter in due course.

Meanwhile, Economics Association of Zambia President, Lubinda Habazoka says the refusal by bondholders to deferment payment could be politically motivated.

However, the Jesuit Center for Theological Reflection has warned of difficulties times ahead. Additional reporting by Diamond News

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