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Zambia Central Bank Gov: Equal Treatment to Blame for Default

File image of Zambian Central Bank Governor Christopher Mvunga. Image via ZNBC.

Zambia’s Central Bank Governor Christopher Mvunga said the need to treat all of its creditors equally is the reason why the government couldn’t repay bondholders a $42.5 million interest payment that was due last Saturday. “One of the conditions is that all creditors have to be treated equally. … It’s not that we could not pay. It’s just that if we pay one creditor then we need to pay all the creditors,” Mvunga told a news conference on Wednesday.

The question of equal treatment has been a major sticking point from the beginning of the current Zambian debt crisis. Private creditors complained that the government’s lack of transparency about its debts to China made it impossible for them to consider restructuring the bond debt. They worried that the Zambian finance ministry would simply use proceeds from delayed bond repayments to funnel money to the Chinese.

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