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Alba Iulia
Monday, January 24, 2022

Removal of tax import exemptions will cripple the operations of NGOs -CUTS

Economy Removal of tax import exemptions will cripple the operations of NGOs -CUTS


An international NGO dealing in consumer protection and trade development has charged that government’s decision revoke statutory instrument number 31 which allowed tax import exemptions for NGOs will cripple the operations of NGOs.

The Consumer Unity Trust Society feels the decision will increase the cost of operations for most NGOs which might result in some shutting down.

CUTS Lusaka Coordinator Simon Ngona said in an interview that the measure will disadvantage NGOs and force them to either shut down or scale down their operations.

“Ultimately the poor people are the losers in all this because some of the equipment affected is essential in service delivery for most of these non-state actors. If you introduce duty on a vehicle going to help the poor in rural areas, ultimately you are killing the same poor people are supposedly to be helping,” Mr Ngona.

He said the argument advanced by government for withdrawing the tax holidays is understandable although there should have been some consultations before arriving at the decision.

“I know there are some bad eggs in the civil society that were abusing the facility but you cannot paste everyone on the same wall,” he said.

He added, “Government should have found a better way of dealing with those individuals and organisations that were abusing the facility than making everyone suffer and in the end punishing the poor.”

Mr Ngona said government has on several occasions acknowledged the role that NGOs have played in supplementing its efforts to develop the nation.

“It would be a lie to say NGOs are not helping the government to improve the situation. We have genuine NGOs in this country that have taken development to needy areas and surely those deserve state support and not condemnation.”

Over the weekend, Government announced that it was lifting the tax exemption for Public Benefit Organisations and other Non- Governmental Organisations.

This follows Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda signing Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 103 of 2013 which has brought into effect the Customs and Excise, Public Benefit Organisation Amendment Regulations.

According to a press statement issued by Ministry of Finance Public Relations Officer Chileshe Kandeta, the SI is effective 8th November 2013.

The statement further says that this means all motor vehicles and spare parts for motor vehicles imported by Public Benefit Organisations shall no longer qualify for tax exemption.

Other goods which will no longer qualify for tax exemption under the Public Benefit Organisation Scheme include wines, except sacramental wine imported by a religious body or Church, otheralcoholic beverages and all household goods except beds and mattresses.

Linen, kitchen equipment, tobacco products and goods whose value is equivalent to a travellers allowance remission under Customs and Excise Regulations SI 54 of 2000 will also not be exempted from tax.


  1. This is where you see that these chaps have run out of ideas, not that they ever had any in the first place. I know a lot of people support these tax issues on NGO’s but you have to look at the underlying reason govt would just wake up and do this. It’s coz they are broke! They have finished all the reserves and are now DESPERATE!

    • But still fuelling a huge budget over-run through unending bye-elections.

      Now Kasenengwa bye-election is officially on!!!! OMG.

    • The underlying reason for the revocation is abuse by some popcorn pentecoastal churches and fake NGOs. Why is there so much poverty in most peri urban areas where these NGOs are operating from? The tax exemption these NGOs and some popcorn churches have being enjoying over the years have not benefited the public in any way. So many of these NGOs and churches and yet no transformation of people’s lives and no conversion of sinners. How can a pentecoastal church that is able to buy vehicles and helicopters for its pastor and send him and his family for holidays be crippled by such a move by government. Government should also compel some of these NGOs to start declaring their source of funds and publish audited accounts of their operations in Zambia.

    • we told these people it is not possible to run a country on the economic principles they were selling to voters, more money in the pockets, lower taxes, increased wages and other lies. Now they are facing the real thing and they have no idea what to do, but to tax even what is not taxable. Soon they will introduce VAT on all exports, not knowing that VAT is a consumption tax.

    • How do you honestly come up with a title that is insulting and end with another insulting word, simply shows you lack analytical skills why not be objective in your arguments. Share what you think are the negative impacts and suggest solutions.
      Just because you have a display screen equipment in front of you doesn’t give you the rights to write such shallow comments, shame on you

  2. What is wrong with our leaders, we sold our mines for peanuts and yet we still provide huge encitives to mine companies that rake in billions at the expense of the poor zambian voters? Now, they are targeting organizations that are supplementing our pathetic government efforts/programs!…..bupuba or kupena noomba uko pa PF?

  3. It’s tax time in the US and I am getting my money I contributed and any work I did did for charity. This encourages the have to help the have not.

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