President Lungu Drops IMF Offer.
President Edgar Lungu left the IMF mission team that recently visited Zambia frustrated after he refused to agree to terms of their proposed financing facility for Zambia.
Highly placed sources at the Ministry of Finance have revealed that the IMF team that left Zambia on Friday were ready to offer close to US$1 billion extended facility to help stabilize the Zambian economy.
One of the key conditions to accessing the facility however was that President Lungu announces a range of austerity measures to help with fiscal consolidation.
The IMF team led by Mr. Tsidi Tsika demanded that the PF Government cuts fuel subsidies.
They said President Lungu told the IMF team that he is reluctant to withdraw fuel subsidies fearing that it would result in a spike in fuel prices, which could cost him the next election.
The sources also reveal that the IMF further demanded that Government realigns its expenditure on ongoing road and other infrastructure programme.
The sources also revealed that President Lungu felt slowing down the road projects would be a sign of failure, which could spell, doom for his administration.
The treasury sources said Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda was more receptive to the IMF proposals.
And a member of the IMF team that visited the country also confirmed that there was nothing concrete that emerged from the mission visit because the Zambian Government was resistant.