New Zambian president pledges to plug black hole of debt
Hakainde Hichilema’s government is discovering Zambia’s true debt burden is much larger than envisaged
Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema’s government is trying to uncover the full extent of its obligations as it prepares to seek a bailout from the International Monetary Fund and begin talks to revamp the nation’s debt.
Hichilema’s landslide victory in the election last month placed him in control of an economy with a “bigger hole” than he envisaged, having last year become Africa’s first pandemic-era sovereign defaulter. Years of government budget blowouts fuelled by over-borrowing left the state with at least $12.7bn (R183bn) in external debt, according to the most recent official figure...