Edgar Lungu is the worst president to rule Zambia since 1964, the confidential report has said.
The African Confidential has also reported that as Zambia’s debt swells, President Edgar Lungu has found a way to avoid being in the limelight by delegating Vice-President Inonge Wina to attend the Commonwealth heads of government meeting in London that ran from April 16-20.
But finance minister Margaret Mwanakatwe says Zambia is managing to pay its debts in line with its obligations.
The Africa Confidential says it is beyond doubt that Zambia is continuing to contract and plan new loans at “an unsustainable rate without assessment of value for money”.
According to Africa Confidential, Zambia’s debt was ballooning and for that reason, the Head of State opted to be absent at the just-ended meetings in London.
“The finance minister (Margaret Mwanakatwe) starts crisis talks with the IMF after the government fails to convince creditors, leaders of the 53 Commonwealth member states gathered in London for the 15-17 April summit, one African Head of State was conspicuously absent. Amid growing concern that Zambia’s debt has ballooned to unmanageable levels on his watch, President Edgar Lungu keeps out of the international spotlight (AC Vol. 59 No 7). His country is on the brink of crisis and the slide in the economy is damaging the copper-rich nation’s bargaining power,” the AC reported.
“Under fire from opponents – and, increasingly, from members of his own governing Patriotic Front – Lungu chose to avoid tough questions over both the debt debacle and his failure to begin dialogue on political reforms with opposition leaders, as previously agreed with the Commonwealth secretary general, Baroness Scotland (AC Vol. 58 No 22).”
The publication added that after a difficult few weeks in which more news broke about Zambia’s rising debt levels, Ministry of Finance officials met with investors in London on April 16 to allay anxieties.