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Alba Iulia
Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Zambia Sugar brands ActionAid report on tax avoidance as inaccurate(updated)

Economy Zambia Sugar brands ActionAid report on tax avoidance as inaccurate(updated)

File: Zambia sugar Corporate affairs Manager Lovemore Sievu takes shareholders on a conducted tour of the sugar plant in Mazabuka
File: Zambia sugar Corporate affairs Manager Lovemore Sievu in yellow takes shareholders on a conducted tour of the sugar plant in Mazabuka

Zambia Sugar has dismissed the report by ActionAid that it was involved in evading tax remittance tax avoidance in Zambia.

Spokesperson Lovemore Sievu said the report by ActionAid was full of inaccuracies, adding that Zambia Sugar that was engaged in anything illegal, immoral or in any way designed to reduce the tax rightly payable to the Zambian government

“We categorically deny the report by ActionAid. The report is absolutely full of inaccuracies. Zambia Sugar meets all its legal obligations including tax,” he said.

Mr Sievu said Zambia Sugar was one of the largest foreign exchange earner and employer in Zambia. He said the company was also the single largest tax payer in the agricultural sector.

“We are very proud of Zambia Sugar and the major contribution that it makes to the Zambian economy,” he said.

Tax evasion: Illegal or fraudulent non-payment or underpayment of taxes.
Tax avoidance :The organisation of finances or accounts in such a way as to minimise declared income and therefore pay as little tax as possible – often through finding and exploiting loopholes in different countries’ legislation. This is legal.

Mr Sievu said that despite Illovo’s attempts to persuade ActionAid to improve its report by correcting errors and introducing more balance into its analysis, ActionAid had decided to publish a highly inflammatory account of the company’s tax position that is incomplete at best and factually wrong in places.

Illovo had engaged openly with ActionAid to set out the correct position.

“ActionAid have failed to reflect this in their report. ActionAid has clearly decided that its campaign should take priority over the facts,” he ssaid.

A report released by Action Aid International Zambia revealed that Zambia Sugar PLC, producer of White Spoon Sugar and other household brands, was evading tax remittance in Zambia.

The report which was released in Lusaka yesterday indicated that Zambia Sugar PLC had been avoiding remitting full tax since 2007.

Action Aid Zambia Country Director Pamela Chisanga said the continuous trend by Zambia Sugar and other corporate entities of avoiding paying taxes deprives the poor Zambians from having access to basic necessities.

She added that due to these corporate institutions avoidance to remit revenue to government, the vulnerable Zambians have continued to live in adverse poverty.

“If Zambia is ever going to end its dependence on foreign aid, it must first be able to raise the money needed to provide for its own citizens. Taxes are a sure source of sustainable income. Taxes pay for critical public services like healthcare, good infrastructure, clean water and many other social amenities,” she said.

Ms Chisanga has since called on all Zambians to join hands and take urgent action in ending tax evading among corporate entities in the country.

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42 COMMENTS

  1. Nothing new here. Too many tax loopholes in Zambia. Further reform is definitely needed. However the major question is if the report is not true and is inaccurate as claimed then why doesnt Zambia Sugar sue ActionAid?

    • There is no corporation or company that accepts allegations of tax evasion is this world, its up to ZRA to pursue that in courts if they have evidence that Zambia Sugar Company evaded paying taxes

    • Mark, therein lies the problem: ZRA sees nothing wrong in what Zambia sugar is doing. Same scenario as Mopani on the copperbelt. As long as the Zambian government continues to rely on foreign investigators to expose these immoral acts, we have no hope. (Note immoral not illegal)

  2. Zambia Sugar plc, just admit that you have been exposed your crookedness in corporate tax evasion. This is a tendancy by multinational corporations remitting the pre-tax profits into a sister company in another country because they realise that it would be difficult to subject it to tax as the monies were not made in that country.
    The report by Action Aid must have been prepared after a serious research.
    Zambian Sugar plc Improve your bad image of tax evasion and avoidance. Your company flourishing on undeserved profits.

  3. That huge tax loss = less money in your pockets.It fits in very well with the PF’s big lie of more money in your pocket . Zambia Sugar was able to evade taxes because they knew the PF idi0ts were distracted chasing and jailing opposition leaders.

    • Ba @Tumbuka Pride you forget too easily! These tax schemes where setup during the rule of the MMD crooks, and NOT during present govt. In fact the current govt is trying to undo most of these agreements that have wreaked havoc on poor Zambians despite all the praises about Zambia being a “middle income” country. Please let us be fair here!

      By the way, it is the same Judas Iscariots (MMD crooks) who sold off the economic soul of our country for “three pieces of silver” who are always the most vocal every time the PF govt attempts to take corrective measures. Do you remember ZAMTEL, ZRS, ZAWA, etc.? Please check the facts!

  4. @3.Tax evasion is dated as way back as 2007 before pf came power. It actually MMD party that failed to correct the situation.
    The MMD is really a failed party.

    • @Gershom Jere…and who were the opportunists in MMD all along before jumping ship to PF? Same monkeys just a different forest.

  5. our problem is that our government is just too lazy to make any serious, meaningful and conclusive followups on this situation. It used to wasting time on useless things instead of redefining and correcting systemic weaknesses in our economic setup in order to remove graft and fraud such as this.

  6. @pride tumbuka u must be dull this serious u want to bring insult,if don’t have any proper comment to make shut. Your stinking mouth before ranting if u children are monkeys cage them u foolish man grow up.

  7. if we still had MMD in power we could have never heard about this thing cause the MMD president was corrupt and if MMD cared about us zambian they couldn’t have allowed that kind of things to happen.anyway lets not point fingers to one other cause this is the time to unit and find a solution otherwise we will remain with nothing

  8. So mpney just pass through the loop holes. Hesh, i womnder when my area will have a secondary school with such thefts and theft watching by ZRA.

  9. ZRA, BANK OF ZAMBIA ARE TOO INCOMPETENT TO STOP TAX EVASION. ZRA CONCENTRATES ON HARRASING SMALL TRADERS AT CHIRUNDU, EVEN CHARGING FOR A PAIR OF JEANS, YET ZAMBIA SUGAR, KCM, MOPANI, KAGEM, GRIZZLY MINING ETC EVADE TAXES WORTH BILLIONS OF DOLLARS. SHEMUNA? SHAME!!! SHEMUNA? SHAME!!!

  10. Exposed because before they were hiding in the millions or is it the many zeros. They also under valued the cost of shares so so they paid investors less. LUSE must also be inquired. Just saying…..

  11. Foolish ZRA is busy chasing and charging car importers over 10pins meanwhile ZamSugar is caging billions of kwacha in the sugar bankers.. No wonder we cant develop..!!

  12. these British are at it again… last week it was Anglo in South Africa now its Associated British Foods in Zambia. do they still think Welensky is our Governor or what ? clip their wings ! deport the Managers if thy are found to be wanting !

  13. IF I WERE THE PRESIDENT OF THIS COUNTRY, I WOULD FIRST FIRE THE ZRA BOSS N TRANSFER THE MANDATE OF INCOME COLLECTION TO MOF AND PUT MS CHISANGA AS BOSS. THIS COUNTRY IS A FAILED STATE PERIOD! CNP RULLING US

  14. hey, Corporate Governance principles being compromised at Zambia Suger…. If indeed Zambia suger is not agreeing with Action Aid’s report on Tax envesion. We challenge them to publish their annual reports ranging between 2005 to date.. This is a serious corporate fraud that calls for the firing/resignation of senior management team.. Please Zambia Suger call use clear this issue.. Zambia is in need of development of we can not allow a situation where large chunks of money are not being remmited to the government coffer. That area where the business is conducted- Mazabula requires world class clinics/schools and colleges..

  15. A tax avoidance takes good corporate tax planners because it is not illegal. The govt should just put a good structure in place at ZRA and Min. of Fin to counter these clever tax avoidance schemes. We will otherwise continue loosing huge somes of money in tax revenues that legally escape the dragnet

  16. A tax evasion on the other hand is an illegal act which attracts big fines or jail sentence and in most cases both. These are also common place in a country like Zambia where the tax administration structures are not robust. They are perpetrated and carried out by both small and big companies but it is believed they are more prevalent among the small and informal companies that are not subject to rigorous checks. The big corporations and especially multinationals tend to prey on tax avoidance schemes while remaining fairly compliant in all tax regimes.

  17. In the first place i want to imform everyone that Lovemore Sieve is a very sophiscated crook of the waste kind. thats why he was employed by these illovo group of thieves to still from this poor country.Zambia Sugar does not only avade tax but also offers a slavery wages to it’s workers who earns kr790 per month as the lowest paid which is far below the revised minimum wage .ActionAid your you report is accurate and we would want to see this government taking an appropiety measure against this company.

    • Stick to issues, instead of personalities. If you had balls you would resolve your hatred for that man face to face. You must be one of the corrupt contractors/suppliers who was terminated at the company; most likely mandevu in town. Lol!!! Kina Sipato.

  18. What does ActionAid report say? How has Zambia Sugar been evading tax? We know nearly all Multinational Corporations do this (tax evasion) with impunity through transfer pricing which is a bit difficult to deal with especially by a poor country like. Zambia. ZRA and BOZ must wake up and begin to do the job we pay them to do. Dealing with tax evaision calls for inter-governmental coporation, a responsibility the government of HEMCS must find very easy to carry out.

  19. @19 Kanyengambeta, The way you put it is that the Sugar company is clever for tax evassion. I actually beg to differ with that view, according to me any crooked act displays foolishness and lack of morality on a part of a doer.

    • Refer to 20 where I have distinguished tax evasion and tax avoidance and the responsibility of tax administrators to strengthen the structures so that companies do not take advantage of loopholes and avoid tax. Our concern is the same i.e the country is loosing a lot of money and something must be done. You should remember that we operate in a global village where as a country we are subjected to tax treaties. If a company uses its planners to legally avoid tax we can not turn round and claim it is an evasion.

  20. Even if taxes from Zambia Sugar plc were collected, would the vulnerable Zambians benefit Ms Pamela Chisanga? How would you stop purchases of Chiluba high heeled shoes and small suits?

    Yes, corporate bodies should not evade paying taxes but please Pamela, make sure that vulnerables in Zambia truely benefit from the collected taxes.

  21. Locally and internationally, Zambia Sugar has lost it’s prized reputation. No amount of lame duck arguing by Lovemore Sievu, the slave and local vuvuzela of International Capital will undo the damage. This company needs to take steps to correct this especially after this exposure.

  22. Sometimes You cannot blame Mugabe’s actions. I watched this interview on Aljazeera yesterday and these multi-nationals tax evasion is staggering, $110 billion dollars annually from Africa. Zambians should rise up and demand for a tax reform, we cannot let these plunderers to continue.

  23. It is an open secrete that multinationals some of whose corporate boards are “window-dressed” with highly qualified local technocrats have unabatedly been engaged in this treasonable crime of plunder of Zambia’s resources for as long as they reared their ugly heads. The Zambian government should not shy away from carrying out forensic audits of all the perpetrators including the worst of them in the mining sector. Rather than relying on handouts from international donors, its time that Zambia expelled butterflies from her stomach and reclaimed what is rightfully hers without the fear of rubbing anybody on the wrong side. The success of this sitting govt’s mandate to rule Zambia will, to a large measure, be judged on how effectively it tacles this unpardonable heinous corporate crime.

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  27. The problem is that its not only Zambia sugar which have been evading and avoiding tax. Some NGOs like Keepers Zambia Foundation have also been doing the same.In fact in some cases Keepers Zambia Foundation (KZF) has been deducting PAYE from members of staff and not remitting to ZRA. The so called John Msimuko and Mevis Mbindika Kasabula running KZF are very corrupt such that they pay ZRA officers when they come for inspection. They have been running another company called KZFI but no tax has ever been paid. So what are the authorities doing about this

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