Saasa Encourages Govt to Acknowledge Debt Problem

Saasa Encourages Govt to Acknowledge Debt Problem

Economist Oliver Saasa has encouraged the government to acknowledge that Zambia has a serious debt problem.

Professor Saasa says while Zambia is not yet in a debt crisis, it will head towards debt stress if nothing is done to address the Country’s debt position.

He says this is because public debt is likely to edge higher over time.

Speaking when he launched his report dubbed ‘How to avoid Zambia’s Public Debt Toppling the economy into Crisis’ in Lusaka, Prof. Saasa said government should be transparent about the situation and must take credible steps to reduce debt and eliminate arrears.

Professor says there is a significant risk that higher market interest rates will lead to an accumulation of more problems for the Zambia economy if the debt challenges are not faced head on and urgently.

He says addressing these challenges will however require tough decisions on public spending and taxes in the short term.

And speaking at the same event, Former Finance Minister Nga’ndu Magande called on Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe to have an open door policy to accommodate economic experts.

Mr. Magande says this is order that government finds a lasting solution to the debt problem Zambia is facing.

And speaking at the same event, Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) Executive Director Emmanuel Mumba expressed concern at the rate at which Zambia’s debt has been accumulating.