FORMER Republican vice-president George Kunda allegedly wrote a letter to former Finance minister Situmbeko Musokotwane objecting to the decision to award a tax deferment facility to Varun beverages, it has emerged.
Mr Kunda, in his letter a few days before former president Rupiah Banda summoned a meeting at State House on March 15, advised that companies that wanted a tax holiday should arrange with the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA).
He had contended in the letter that a “face-less” tax deferment was illegal. Mr Kunda was also Justice minister at the time.
Sources said when he appeared before a team of law enforcement officers, Mr Kunda was asked to read the letter and confirmed that he authored it because it was his duty.
A letter from Mr Banda to Dr Musokotwane in April 2010 directing the ministry to facilitate the awarding of tax holiday was written after Mr Kunda’s advice against the deferment facility.
The former president’s letter has, however, allegedly disappeared from the Ministry of Finance in unexplained circumstances.
The special combined team of security personnel investigating allegations of corruption has attempted in vain to trace the letter dated April 24, 2010.
The letter was a follow up to a meeting that allegedly took place at State House on March 15, 2010 called by Mr Banda in which he allegedly asked Dr Musokotwane to ensure that the tax holiday was granted.
Those who attended the State House meeting included Dr Musokotwane, former Commerce minister Felix Mutati, and Mr Kunda.
Others were Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) Director-General Andrew Chipwende and former chief budget analyst in charge of tax revenue who is now director of economic management, Felix Nkulukusa.
In an interview in Lusaka on Tuesday, Mr Chipwende said he was just called to attend the State House meeting and could not discuss the matter in detail.
“We do not operate like that. I was called to that meeting and what is said is for the Government and not for the public,” Mr Chipwende said.
Mr Kunda declined to comment on the matter saying it would be hard for him because a warn and caution statement had been recorded from Dr Musokotwane.
Value Added Tax (VAT) is not on the list of taxes available for deferment to companies according to the Zambia Development Agency Act (ZDA), but was offered to Varun.
[Times of Zambia]