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IMF, World Bank get knocks for allegedly imposing harsh economic conditions on Zambia


An ex-Zambian official has accused the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank of allegedly imposing harsh economic conditions on Zambia through dictation.

Bob Sichinga, ex-Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister, wishes the IMF and the World Bank to stay away from dictating decisions for Zambia.

Sichinga is of the view that the IMF and the World Bank were responsible for some decisions such as phasing out the Farmers Input Support Programme (FISP).

At a Mid-Year Economic Performance and 2024-2026 Medium Term Budget Plan in Lusaka on Tuesday where the IMF Resident Representative, Preya Sharma was in attendance, Sichinga said the fund should not dictate to Zambia what to do.

In his submission after various presentations, Sichinga said the IMF and their counterpart, the World Bank, must instead listen to what Zambia wanted to do in order to develop.

Read more: IMF disburses $189 million to Zambia, spells out country’s economic performance

“IMF you are part of the problem. I am not a diplomat so I am not going to be polite to you. You are part of the problem. your institution has been part of the problem together with your colleagues at the World Bank

“So please change the attitude rather than coming here to tell us what we should do, listen to what we want in order to have development,” Sichinga said.

He said there was no way a country could develop in five years given the sort of programme Zambia was signed on.

“You come for five years, these programmes for five years after five years you walk away. No development takes place in five years, it does not. So we want you to change your approach, you should listen to us, we are equally educated just as you guys are at the IMF and the world bank,” he said.

Sichinga urged government to instead fix, change and enhance FISP as opposed to phasing it out.

“Do not get rid of FISP. Do not even try it, fix it, change it, enhance it, make it more efficient.

“This electronic voucher system is not the solution because your register is what you have to sort out. Your register with the farmers,” Sichinga said.

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