We’ve reached the climax in our efforts to discourage this government from borrowing, we can only watch them slip away into the dark abyss of economic sabotage says former Republican vice-president Nevers Mumba.
On Wednesday, government signed a US$100 million soft loan agreement with the Saudi Arabian government for the construction of an 800 bed specialist referral hospital which will be called King Salman bin Abdulaziz Specialised Hospital for women and children.
But in an interview with News Diggers! yesterday, Mumba observed that the PF was in a love relationship with debt.
“We have reached the climax in our efforts to discourage this government from their illicit love relationship with over borrowing. We can now only watch them slip away into the dark abyss of economic sabotage,” Mumba, who is also MMD president said.
“They will never listen. Let Zambians judge. That’s really all I can say. This government will not listen to any one. Let God deal with their arrogance. We have written to them. We have spoken. We have met them. All in vain. They are in love with debt and don’t care how it shall be paid back.”
But in a separate interview, ADD president Charles Milupi felt government had done well to go for a government to government loan agreement which was specific to a project.
“The time that the PF came in 2011, we were contracting these euro bond loans. We were advising that it was wrong for a country like Zambia to go for euro bond loans because these were commercial loans with high interest rate. In case of defraud, because these are commercial loans, the lenders would never forgive this country like we have debt forgiveness in the past. We had suggested that the way for the country was to go for multi-lateral loan with multilateral institutions, that is the World Bank and the IMF or the ADB or bilateral loans. That is country to country with concessionary interest rate,” he said.
“Secondly these loans must be specific to certain projects. If you look at the loans that was signed with Saudi Arabia it seems to qualify on all those conditions, its concessionary interest. It is also specific to a project, that is the hospital for women and children and with low interest which is country to country. So on that call it qualifies with what we have been pushing forward.”
He however wondered why government decided to name the hospital after the Saudi Arabian king Salman bin Abdulaziz.
“The only problem is, how can you get a loan which you have to pay back and then you come and name the project that you are constructing that loan for, you name it after the people that have given you that particular loan? I believe that the hospital will be called King Salman bin Abdulaziz after the King of Saudi Arabia. Why are we using the name of the King of Saudi Arabia? We have to pay back the money coming from there even if it’s concessionary interest rate so they need to clarify that,” said Milupi.