China halts funding for KKIA project, questions Zambia’s capacity to pay back
By Staff Reporter
China’s Exim Bank has halted funding towards the US$360 million expansion and modernization of the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport for fear that the Zambian government may not be able to pay back the loan.
In a ministerial statement yesterday Housing and Infrastructure Development minister Vincent Mwale told Parliament the completion date has been rescheduled due to lack of funding after Exim Bank stopped remitting money for fear that the Zambian government was not capable of paying back the loan.
Mwale said that this has forced government to move the completion date of the project to April 20, 2021 from the initial date of October 20, 2019.
Zambia’s external debt is currently about US$10.23 billion.
Mwale said of the total loan amount of US$360 million, US$265 million had so far been paid to the contractor.
Meanwhile, Mwale said the construction of the Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport in Ndola costing about US$397 million would be completed by October 2020.
He explained that a total of US$191 million had been certified and US$182 million had been paid to the contra funding.