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Zambia: opposition warns govt over loan

By , ITWeb’s Zambian correspondent.
Zambia , 09 Dec 2014

Zambia: opposition warns govt over loan

Zambia's leading opposition political party has warned the government against borrowing $103 million meant to pay back Lap Green Networks loan.

The United Party for National Development (UPND) said it was aware the Zambian government wants to borrow the money and, in turn, receive a commission.

Last week, ITWebAfrica reported that the Zambian government was planning to pay back $103 million loan that Libya's Lap Green Networks obtained from ZTE for the expansion of the Zambia Telecommunications Company (Zamtel) network.

In 2011 Lap Green Networks secured the loan from ZTE in order to implement Zamtel's Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) phase IV and Universal Mobile Telecommunication System (UMTS) projects.

UPND deputy president for politics Dr. Canicius Banda said the Zambian government wants to get $1 million commission from the borrowed money for use in its 2015 presidential campaigns.

Speaking at a media briefing yesterday, Banda said the Zambian government ought to be responsible in the way it is borrowing money. The country goes to the presidential bye-election on January 20, 2015.

Banda said it will be unwise for the Zambian government to borrow money and pay Lap Green Networks, the company that the country's government repossessed and handed back to Zamtel.

"We are aware that government is under pressure to borrow the money to pay Lap Green Networks. There is a commission of $1 million from the money to be borrowed that the government wants to use it for its 2015 presidential campaigns," Banda said.

Zamtel was sold to the Libyan company in 2010 for $2576 million by the previous Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) government after allegedly failing to recapitalise the company.

However the current Patriotic Front (PF) government, which came to power in 2011, repossessed Zamtel claiming it belongs to the Zambian people and that it was wrongly sold to the Libyans.

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