PARLIAMENT yesterday voted to adopt a motion by Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda to increase the amount of external loans outstanding at any one time from K35 billion to K60 billion.
The motion was adopted with a vote of 74 for and 41 against using the electronic system. One Member of Parliament abstained.
Speaker of National Assembly Patrick Matibini called for the vote after extensive debate, which started on Wednesday and was concluded yesterday.
The motion was in line with Section 3 of the Loans and Guarantees (Authorisation) Act, Chapter 366 of the Laws of Zambia.
This means that Parliament has authorised Mr Chikwanda to increase, by Statutory Instrument (SI), the amount outstanding at any one time, on external loans from K35 billion to K60 billion.
Earlier, Mr Chikwanda asked members to consider the motion for Government to continue with its development programme for the benefit of Zambians.
And winding up debate, Mr Chikwanda said: “In order for the country to proceed, I am putting this motion before the House to consider. It must be noted that for all development to take place in the country, this money is needed.”
Mr Chikwanda said Government is aware that the money must be repaid and it will do so.
And contributing to the debate, Minister of Gender and Child Development Nkandu Luo said opposition MPs wanted to deny the people of Zambia development.
She said PF has demonstrated that it is determined to develop the country through the massive road infrastructure projects being implemented countrywide
Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Margaret Mwanakatwe said the infrastructure development under the PF leadership will link Zambia to other countries.
Ms Mwanakatwe said the airports will make Zambia an air transport hub and accommodate all types of airlines.
Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development Richard Musukwa told Parliament yesterday that Government is not aware that Konkola Copper Mines wants to shut down some of its operations, STEVEN MVULA reports.
He said this is because KCM has not communicated anything to that effect.
Mr Musukwa was responding to a question by Nchanga MP Wylbur Simuusa (PF), who wanted to know whether Government is aware of any intentions by KCM to shut down some of its operations.
Meanwhile, Minister of Health Joseph Kasonde says Government has embarked on a mass drug administration exercise, which runs from June 8 to July 2, to deal with Lymphatic Filariasis, commonly known as Elephantitis, a disease which affects arms, legs and genitals.
Dr Kasonde said infection occurs when a mosquito that has the filarial parasite bites a person; the parasite enters the body and affects the lymphatic system.