An economist has urged President Hakainde Hichilema to set up a Coordinating Debt Task team to come up with a debt management strategy and negotiating framework for the country.

In his submission to President Hichilema on Zambia’s public debt, Trevor Simumba said that the task team should be led by the Secretary to the Treasury and comprise of eminent Zambian technocrats such as Dr. Caleb Fundanga and Prof. Oliver Saasa.

This task team should comprise eminent Zambian technocrats that have the experience and knowledge. For instance, Dr. Caleb Fundanga, Prof. Oliver Saasa, representative from ZIPAR, representative from ZICA and the Bankers Association,

Simumba said.

This task team would report to the Minister of Finance that would then report to you (President Hichilema). The task team should also include as Observers your Economic and Legal Advisors.

Simumba, who is also a Senior Trade Expert at the African Union (AU),  further said that government should dismantle domestic arrears owed to local Zambian contractors and suppliers of goods and services in order to bring liquidity into the economy.

Government can issue a domestic bond specifically to pay of these arrears,

he said.

Meanwhile, Simumba has called on President Hichilema to move  the Road Development Agency (RDA) from State House, and take it back to the Ministry of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development.

Revert RDA to Ministry of Infrastructure and allow it to operate devoid of political interference,

he noted.

Zambia’s  domestic debt stands at K 61.9 billion while its external debt is 12 billion US dollars.