Finance Minister Bwalya Ng’andu yesterday set aside ZMW 47.7bn for servicing debt as the country tries to navigate out of a debt crisis. Ng’andu told Parliament that ZMW 27.7bn would be spent on debt obligations, ZMW 16bn on multilateral debt and ZMW 11.7bn on bilateral debt and commercial creditors. The Minister also told Parliament that “given the extent of Zambia’s financing needs, the government has responded by requesting all creditors to participate in the implementation of the debt service standstill”.
Meanwhile, Vedanta Resources has indicated that it will contest any attempt by the Zambian government to sell its Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) business to third parties. Vedanta in a statement responding to “rumours” that a Zambian government-appointed provisional liquidator is set to split KCM into two units and sell them, stated that it would take “all necessary steps” to safeguard its interest in KCM. Given that the courts ordered a halt to liquidation proceedings last month, any potential buyer of the KCM assets will be party to an unlawful act, Vedanta noted.