President Edgar Lungu with  Vice-President Inonge Wina  after the swearing-in-ceremony of   Luapula Province permanent Secretary Boniface Chimbwali , Chiefs and Traditional Affairs minister Dr Joseph Katema, Deputy Inspector General of Police Mr Kakoma Kanganja, Deputy ZAF Commander Maj Gen Muma, State House Deputy minister Mulenga Sata and Commerce minister Margaret Mwanakatwe at State House on February  3,2015 -Picture by THOMAS NSAMA
President Edgar Lungu with Vice-President Inonge Wina after the swearing-in-ceremony of Luapula Province permanent Secretary Boniface Chimbwali , Chiefs and Traditional Affairs minister Dr Joseph Katema, Deputy Inspector General of Police Mr Kakoma Kanganja, Deputy ZAF Commander Maj Gen Muma, State House Deputy minister Mulenga Sata and Commerce minister Margaret Mwanakatwe at State House on February 3,2015 -Picture by THOMAS NSAMA

President Edgar Lungu has directed the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) Commissioner-General Mr. Berlin Msiska to expedite dialogue with mine owners and promptly resolve the impasse over the new mining tax regime.

President Lungu issued the directive after he addressed a special session of Cabinet to consider the impasse over the new mining tax regime and the outstanding VAT refunds for mining companies.

The President said he wants an amicable settlement that must end in a win-win outcome for both the mining companies and the people of Zambia.

On the VAT the status of the VAT refunds, the ZRA Commissioner-General and the Minister of Finance Hon. Alexander Chikwanda reported that a statutory instrument to regulate the payment of refunds would be ready in a matter of days to deal with future payments.

The Head of State has directed that in the light of the existing legal dilemma regarding claims that have already been submitted, new negotiations must therefore be opened to address mechanisms under which any payment would be settled.

We have to make this clear so that we can forestall the falsehoods that some people are peddling to poison public perception regarding this matter

“I want to see increased dialogue and increased flow of information that infact we have been talking to the mine owners over these matters. We have to make this clear so that we can forestall the falsehoods that some people are peddling to poison public perception regarding this matter. The ultimate aim is to protect jobs and keep mines profitable at the same time. We must also maintain the country’s right to collect due taxes,” the President said.

The special session of Cabinet comprised Her Honour the Vice-President Mrs Inonge Wina, Hon. Chikwanda, Minister of Justice Hon. Dr Ngosa Simbyakula and Minister of Commerce Trade & Industry, Hon. Margaret Mwanakatwe. The Minister of Mines will join this committee of ministers tasked to tackle the mines tax impasse. The ZRA Commissioner-General, Secretary to the Treasury Mr Fredson Yamba and Ministry of Finance Permanent Secretary Mr. Felix Nkulukusa were in attendance.

The Minister of Finance emphasised that government was actively engaged in dialogue with the mines and there is therefore no cause for panic and blackmail from any quarters. “This matter is under discussion and I will be addressing the issue at various fora this week when I visit some mines on the Copperbelt this week,” he said

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25 COMMENTS

    • President Lungu has his head screwed up right! I am beginning to like my president even more, this is the right choice for the smart people of the Zambian Enterprise.

      Ba Chikwanda needs to chill a little bit … don’t get me wrong I like the guy and I have been a defender of his policies when others have asked for axing him but that tone of voice responding to the Head of State was wrong.

      It came out a little nauseatingly sarcastic … it came out like “hey, don’t go there, I got this” kind. The President is asking for a new way of doing things because obviously the old ways created the impasse on VAT refunds.

      Ba ABC there’s a new sheriff in town and this time around things have to be done his way or it will soon be you on the highway … just a little friendly advice if I…

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    • Wrong move!
      There you go again, ZRA is a tax collector not tax setter/negotiator!
      Taxes go up or down by legislative action imwe bantu. It is a law. And ZRA does not make laws! That’s why nonpayment is a crime.

      ZR and not Finance should deal with the issues of refunds. Finance is GRZ’s accounting office and nothing more.

      The farther you remove ZRA/Finance from these talks the sooner you will begin to take a bite out of corruption. The chasm between parly and ZRA/Finance serves as a part of the necessary controls.

      Zambia’s never ending comedy of errors!

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    • Why not directing Chikwanda instead of ZRA?
      Who is issuing contradictory S.I.’s by the dozen? ZRA or Chikwanda? By the way, under which Act ZRA is empowered to “negotiate”?

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    • Why dialogue when you have passed law…this is laughable. ..what did you promise last month on that platform.

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    • @ 1plus1
      Sense, So much sense and logic in your argument!
      That’s my line of thought as well.
      But why this directive coming from Lungu; a Lawyer for that matter.

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  1. Good and inspiring talk. We lacked this from his predecessor the nepotist and creator of “the family jungle”.

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  2. there’s nothing like a win win situation here…government has to look @ how sustainable & safe this country’s citizens jobs are! they will keep their jobs @ state House intact while the majority of we the miners crave & die with the anguish that’s going to be effected from the loss of jobs…tax my foot! it’s better a piece of bread than nothing! don’t just disturb these investors anyhow you feel like.just make sure something tangible comes out of these bogus negotiations. after all we won’t directly benefit from the money that is going to get raised from all this! ATASE!!!

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    • How much do you pocket? I hear these guys give you as little 500£ for such a hard job? They charge you 200£ for accommodation and you are left with less than 0£ to save. Let government do its job and you will be better off not working for them and own your own business. Think in the long term Zambia has been loosing a lot of money through infestors who do not mean well for the country.

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  3. Slightly away from the subject, if there is anyone reading this and has connection to EL, tell him this. Vehicle duty should be standardised according to engine size for cars and SUV’s than the complicated system being used now. If your engine is 2000cc irrespective of whether it’s a benzene or Toyota, new or old should pay one figure. This will encourage Zambians to buy new cars that environment friendly and also remove corruption with the current system. Also the agents and people hired to clear these vehicles will not be taking their clients for granted. The state also will benefit from increased tax and also most people who obtain loans to buy second hand cars that break down even before pay back will buy newer cats that will serve them longer

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  4. Dear your excellence, this is not a matter for ZRA to dialogue over. This mine tax issue is one which needs clear government policy direction. ZRA’s role is simply to implement or put the tax policy into operations. Please again economic advisors to the president do your job correctly.

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    • Yes indeed zedpoorpipo. This is a policy matter for cabinet to handle either to modify or reverse. ZRA just implements.

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    • @@Jamakudi this is an issue for the legislators, not policy makers.

      If you can’t follow the constitution, burn it!

      There is no need to have a system which you will override wantonly.

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  5. I can’t agree more with zedpoorpeople. This is beyond zra, it needs an executive decision to be made! Hon ABC is an interested party hence shld not be part of this meeting, looking at how mines are closing down worldwide bcoz of low copper prices, pipo have to be sensitive on how this is handled,

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  6. It will be a backward move if GRZ had to reverse the mining tax recently implemented. “Minerals will never rot if not mined”. Why make the westerners richer? You don’t need to look further to see how some African politicians can succumb to such nosensical, dangerous and ineffective rushed decisions. Zambian politicians should look at the longer term solutions. Yes a few individuals may not be in employment in a shorter term but so as the employer who may not get profits. It short, GRZ should look at taxation that benefits all the Zamban people and no that of a few miners who might not be in employment because of the new tax rules.

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    • if the investors go government will loose even the little tax they collect. What you should understand is that investors are capitalists who aim at maximum returns. if the government wants to make more money from the mines why not run them themselves. its not just a few pipo who will loose jobs if the mines close its a chain of many families

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  7. “Copper taibola” (Copper ore just like other Zambian minerals does and will never rot if left in the ground).

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  8. ECL has his head screwed on the wrong way. This instruction is for Minister of Finance not ZRA Chief.

    It’s like asking Mulenga’s hand to pick up a nugget without talking to Mulenga.

    Basic missteps of an economic damagers.

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  9. These guys ZRA have had no capacity to collect variable tax from the mines and have lamentably been dribbled by mining companies since 2000. How the hell do you expect them to understand/untangle the bag of tricks of the mining companies aggressive tax planners and negotiate anything sensible/beneficial to the country? Kaya!

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  10. Zambia has mineral resources but slowly running out of mineral reserves. A mineral reserve is a mineral resource that can be mined economically and has been proved to be feasible for economical extraction.
    Government fiscal policies must be sensitive to the current situation because they play a role in classifying what is ecomically valuable and mineralised waste.
    dont just wake up in the morning, dream about a figure to impose as mineral royalty tax and churn it out without logical consultation.
    right now, some mines are closing and putting thousands of jobs at jeorpady.

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    • Leave the mineralised waste in the ground becoz its not economically viable. Period! Why mine “waste” make losses and avoid tax? Why have these companies like Glencore’s Mopani stayed/continued mining since privatisation in 2000 (15 years) of making losses? Which private company can do that? Wake up!

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