Zambia’s New President Hakainde Hichilema told in an interview that he has earned an “empty treasury” as the horrifying amount of funds has been stolen. He said, “People are still trying to make last-minute movements of funds, which are unauthorized, which are not theirs”.
Hakainde Hichilema won the presidential elections last month by defeating his rival Edgar Lungu. Lungu has governed the nation since 2015 and was widely praised for the smooth transition of power to Mr. Hichiema who won after five failed attempts. Zambia plugged into a recession last year for the first time since 1998.
Hichilema said that the hole is much bigger than he expected and there’s a lot of damage unfortunately and the treasury was “literally empty”. However, the new president did not name any officials who were involved. Previously, Mr.Lungu had denied all accusations and wrongdoing that he was being blamed for.
Economist and former International Monetary Fund (IMF) adviser was appointed as the new finance minister by Hakainde. According to the previous reports, Zambia owed an estimated $12 billion to foreign lenders. In 2020 Zambia became the first African country to default on a loan during the pandemic by missing an interest repayment.