The United Party for National Development (UPND) has charged that claims by government that the country’s external debt stands at nine billion United States dollars is deceiving.

In a statement availed to Lusaka Star, party President, Hakainde Hichilema, said contrary to the claims by government, the country’s external debt stands at twenty billion United States dollars.

He alleged that the substantial debt is what prompted the country’s lenders, such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Bank of America Corp, to probe the sustainability of Zambia’s external debt, which he charged was engineered by some selfish Patriotic Front (PF) officials, through dubious borrowing.

And Mr. Hichilema alleged that despite its constant claims, the PF government had not created any jobs for the citizens.

The UPND president further charged that the project of distributing books and bicycles, which the  PF government is undertaking countrywide , is a mere act of bribery on the unsuspecting citizens.

He has since called on the general citizenry to rubbish the gifts.

Mr. Hichilema also castigated the PF government for not heeding to the sound advice his party was providing on the economy.

Meanwhile,  Patriotic Front (PF) media director, Sunday Chanda, said it was sad to note that Mr. Hichilema had not yet graduated from being an ‘under-five’ politician.

He warned Mr. Hichilema against issuing unsubstantiated statements against the government and its organs.

Mr. Chanda said the Ministry of Finance had been transparent about the country’s external debt,  which, contrary to Mr. Hichilema’s allegations, the International monetary fund (IMF) had never questioned.

Mr. Chanda further disclosed that the project of distributing books and bicycles across the country was just one of the many promises that the PF government had made to the Zambian people.

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