Sunday, May 26, 2013

Eurobond is being used well - Chikwanda
By Henry Sinyangwe in Siavonga
Sun 26 May 2013, 14:00 CAT

FINANCE minister Alexander Chikwanda says the government will not tell the public whether it intends to go back to borrow from the international market following what he terms the proper utilisation of the US$750 million Eurobond.

And Chikwanda (above) says there is need to end the annoyance of load-shedding and its inconveniences.

Speaking to journalists after familiarising himself with Zesco operations at Kariba North Bank Hydro Power Station on Friday, Chikwanda urged Zambians not to listen to irresponsible remarks over the government's utilisation of resources.

Asked if the government intended to go back to the international market considering his position that the money was being properly utilised, he said that was the preserve of the Ministry of Finance.

"Why are you zeroing in on the Eurobond money… why the fixation on Eurobond money? That is a preserve of the Ministry of Finance. We don't broadcast whether we are going to the market, and it does not work that way," Chikwanda said. "The Eurobond is being utilised very well. Don't go by irresponsible remarks. The Eurobond money is only used for growth-generating projects; its not being used to pay you in the media salaries, it's all for development projects, it's being very properly used. Zesco are using proceeds from the Euro bond to develop the energy sector. When they can't use it, for instance in the case of Zambia Railways, they have already earned a lot of interest from the US$120 million and banks now are competing to attract the Zambia Railways account. So by the time they have projects to finance, they would have already earned quite a lot of interest from the money. So all the money is being used properly and this money has to be paid back by you Zambians."

He said the government would ensure transparency in the utilisation of taxpayers money.
"There is no secrecy, no mafia-type activities; we have to account for the money," Chikwanda said.

And Chikwanda said there was need for the country to generate excess power to enable it earn income from power exports and end constant load-shedding.

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