Zambian gov't denies bribing IMF official to get bailout

Source: Xinhua| 2017-06-28 04:44:52|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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LUSAKA, June 27 (Xinhua) -- The Zambian government on Tuesday dismissed reports that it bribed the head of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) Mission in order to get a favorable treatment on a bailout package the country was seeking.

Last month, an IMF delegation was in Zambia to continue discussions on a possible aid program under its extended credit facility.

Discussions are expected to continue next month with the possibility of the country getting assistance in August.

Some online publications have claimed that Zambian President Edgar Lungu bribed the IMF Team Leader Tsidi Tsikata as a way of improving the country's chances of getting the bailout.

But Minister of Finance Felix Mutati dismissed the allegations, saying the talks with the IMF were being conducted in a transparent and honest manner.

He said the government did not corrupt any of the officials from the IMF, adding that the negotiation team only presented facts obtaining in the country which require assistance.

He told reporters during a press briefing that the IMF will make its decision based on the facts presented and will not succumb to any inducement from the government.

The government, he said, was keen to ensure that the talks are concluded and presented to the IMF Board in August this year.

Last week, the IMF Communications Department dismissed reports of bribery of one of its officials.