An audit of the country’s external debt has revealed significant financial discrepancies and irregularities that include conflicting figures, alleged overpricing and weaknesses in the contraction of debt.

The audit is for the financial years ended 31st December 2006 to 2022.

The audit has revealed weaknesses in the contraction of external debt with the government signing seven contracts in amounts totaling over 958 million dollars to finance various projects from 2014 to 2019.
Other notable discrepancies pertain to the contract for the supply of school requisites between the Ministry of Education and Mikalile Trading Company at a total contract sum of 402 million United States dollars on 27th October 2017.

The audit report alleges that the contract was over priced by 60 Million United States dollars, with interest that was supposed to be over U$ 78 Million Dollars, pegged at over 138 million dollars.

In the contract for the supply of police uniforms and riot gear amounting to 70 million United States dollars under the Ministry Home Affairs and Internal Security the report revealed that supplier was paid despite not supplying items valued at 4.5 Million dollars as at 31st January 2024.

And, Acting Auditor General RON MWAMBWA, who released the Report said Zambia’s External Public Debt increased from Over One billion United States dollars in 2006 to 14 billion United States Dollars in 2022.
He said from 2014 to 2020 the country recorded a significant increase in external public debt stock from 30 percent to 70 percent of GDP .

Dr MWAMBA said the debt stock reduced in 2022 from 70 percent to 49 percent of GDP.
He said the long span in the audit period for the audit of external public debt was necessitated by the need to have a verified position of the national external debt amid the various conflicting figures as well as show borrowing patterns over the years.

This is contained in a statement released to ZNBC news by Office of the Auditor General Head of Public Relations ELLEN CHIKALE.







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