Chishimba Kambwili
Chishimba Kambwili

Government says it will request the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) and the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) to transform the debt owed to them by all public media institutions into equity capital.

Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services Chishimba Kambwili says the development will enhance operations at the affected public media organisations namely Times of Zambia, Zambia Daily Mail and the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC).

Mr. Kambwili said his ministry has already begun the formulation process and it will soon take the matter to cabinet for approval.

He stated that the move to request ZRA and NAPSA to transform the debt into equity capital is among many measures government intends to use to recapitalise and resuscitate the public media institutions so that they can operate profitably.

The Minister further said the development will no doubt help the Times of Zambia which is mostly affected to go on the open market as their balance sheet will be greatly improved and enhanced.

Mr. Kambwili who was speaking during a press briefing in Lusaka yesterday, said government is committed to ensure that all public media institutions in the country are well sustained.

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60 COMMENTS

  1. Rainbow Party getting well organized in the North East of USA, we will welcome GMB with open hands and the Party symbol, Strength and Experience, Leadership for the People. 2016 here we come with VISION for the Taxpayers.

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    • Kambwili, who will invest in those portfolios, just to listen to you and your minions talk. People can listen to you even with out that my piece of yours. When your friend was minister of labour you where threatening to take the chief opperating officers to task, including giving dead lines. Has something changed suddenly? You think people have loose money to waste your newsprint? Have you ever heard of online? Wake up my friend.

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    • kambwili with a pig neck and bean size brain is news since he became imformation minister

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    • joke of the year how can ZRA own equity in a company?

      Indeed a country lead by monkeys

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    • Lol…d not be comical. Wynter Kabimba will never be President of Zambia. That is just dellusion!

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    • The public print media institutions will only become profitable if they shift from writing pro-government stories to objective and professional reporting.
      A lot of readers have lost confidence in these papers because they just sing praises of the government of the day.
      For them to survive with the current mushrooming of online media which are accessible even on mobile phones, they need to show case why a reader should spend a K4 on their paper instead of buying air time for accessing different sites with credible news online.

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    • Kwena Kambwili is dull stop yapping if know nothing about business.Let them pay back post newspaper paid.What is required is good management of these media houses.

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  2. uyu muntu no buntutu bwakwe. This is not solving any problem but just shifting the problem if not creating problems. Offf what a way of hiding inefficiencies. So, Napsa and zra will be paying dividends to these louse investors, who should have been paying their debt. So instead of paying debts they will be getting revenues from the coffers tax collections and from hard earned savings of pensiones. What is this criminal behaviour and how does this make this non profit and inefficenit institutions sustaineable?????

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    • People are just busy arguing issues they do not understand. what Government has come up with is the best solution of INTERNAL RECONSTRUCTION to those institution who has suffer losses, rather than exposing them to go into liquidation. this is one soft way of helping those institution to continue their existence. I would urge the Government to extend the same to institution like TAZARA who owes huge some of money to ZRA.

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    • What’s the difference with the 14b membe and Nchito borrowed? What you need to do is different

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  3. I hear Fred MuMembe screaming “this is unfair, we were the first to ask DBZ, ZRA and NAPSA, why should public media get in front of us?”

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  4. Sorry Honourable, u have got it wrong. Napsa contributions are employees’ money. Better make those employees whose Napsa contributions have not been paid to Napsa by their respective employers hold equity capital in Napsa and not Napsa to hold equity capital in those non performing institutions. Oh yes that is the correct position.

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    • I agree; as pension contributors we all have a right to know and say where Napsa invests our money. These public media have never made a profit. Its not the debt that’s the problem its the performance. With competition from many other sources for news they will simply incur more debt after a few years

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    • Totally agree, as a matter fact it is about time you sold these institutions to the Zambian Public. How can small Online media houses be seen to be more effective and look bigger than all public media combined, despite the staff and resources they have. Just poor management and old school thinking of doing things. As matter, fact I can bet my life that if all these public media houses are bailed today and even given operational capital for 5 years, at the end 5 years , they will be back to where they are and they will not improve their services at all and will continue to lag behind online media for a simple reason: Old school think in the new world.

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  5. Umuntu.
    This time Kambwili has said something that makes sense so do not just criticize him just because of who he is. I have worked in the investment banking industry, in the USA, Europe, Japan, Singapore and Australia for 25 years. In all these jurisdictions, indebted institutions do offer to swap their debt for equity as a way out of debt. It is a classical method of reconstituting debt and Kambwili’s ministry is right in exploring the option. The only question here is will ZRA or NAPSA think the media institutions equity is worth swapping for the debt they owe? Although related, this is a different question to how governance issues are solved at the institutions in question so that ZRA/NAPSA can later offload the equity were they to be forced into the swap.

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    • Please where and when in USA, Europe, Japan, Singapore and Australia government used pensioners money to bail-out failed government own newspaper?

      You may be working in all those countries, but DEFINITELY you did not learn anything.

      Just one example, Singapore:
      Strait Times (biggest daily in the Country) is quoted on Singapore Stock Exchange and is a Public Limited Company. Singapore Government holds substantial investment in it through its Sovereign fund (Tomasek) and the eventual profits remain equity of Sovereign fund.
      Where did you read that in Singapore props-up loss making government media?
      Please, stop spreading crap to justify idiocy!!!

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    • Where in the USA, Australia, Japan….. have you ever seen the national revenue collection authority owning equity in a country. Don’t talk nonsense…

      You clearly did not learn anything… that if you even worked there

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    • This sounds straightforward.. But will ZRA (assuming the law allows them to hold shares in any entity) and NAPSA ever receive any dividend from this? If so, when do you expect them to do this? As someone has already pointed out, even with this proposed conversion of debt into equity, the concerned organisation will be back in this same position before you can count from 1 to 10!

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    • Sensible analysis. Napsa can hold investments but I dont think ZRA law allows them to do so.

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    • Asheshaday and the Engineer,
      Sovereign Wealth Funds like Temasek (Singapore) hold government funds collected through taxation (In Zambia the current law may not provide for ZRA directly holding equity in firms but it is still tax money that sovereign wealth funds) . Pension funds by the nature of their business invest in equity. My point above is that those insolvent institutions CAN EXPLORE the idea.
      In Singapore as you mention, the Straits Times, Singapore Airlines, SingTel, etc. have Temasek as the largest share holder i.e. the tax payer. The concept of state firms being using the same instruments to get out of debt as private companies would is sound and should be explored. The question of whether they make sensible investment for government funds is related but separate.

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    • @ Umwina Zambia

      Definitely you did not live or work in Singapore.

      In order to broaden your limited intellectual and knowledge horizons, Temasek does NOT depends on tax-payers input. Once was established and up to date it has thrived and grown out of its own profits. Furthermore, there are no POLITICALLY motivated appointments. As a matter of fact, majority of senior positions are in the hands of expatriates.
      As to tax-payers contributions been used in Singapore to prop-up failed entities, please wake up. Singapore Tax Authority RETURNS portion of tax contribution whenever budgeted amounts are not utilized.

      And, as a parting info, do you know that Singapore Tax Authority has open and unrestricted access to Corporate customers bank accounts? Will you trust ZRA with your bank…

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  6. The debt-equity swap just addresses the current outstanding debt. There is need to address the real reason why these parastatals continue to underperform. Otherwise the debt will pile back.

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  7. Those media corporations are 100% government institutions so are the due ZRA revenues. NAPSA is another issue because those are Pensioners monies and their options must be sought. We have no issues with the ZRA revenues although they remain our taxes and if we have to be consulted, we will fire the government first for management incompetence of the media corporates before we entertain the though. NAPSA is off limits. Look to the Lusaka exchange perhaps you may come across a less damaging solution.

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  8. Am no expert here. Explain how employee NAPSA contribution will be handled by govt? How does that solve the inefficiencies beside recapitalization of these media houses?

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    • You are right the minister has no clue what he is talking about. NAPSA and ZRA are not being capitalized because they are not receiving new cash inflow. They are in fact worse off in that they will no longer receive their money from the government institutions. The result is no money for you when you retire. kambwili should just say government is too broke to pay.

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  9. This is a daft suggestion. This is tantamount to debt forgiveness. What will happen when they erode that capital? What about the tax target? Will they borrow more externally to fill the gap? You cannot squeeze one size of the budget without a balancing act. And who told you ZRA has an opinion in the matter. ZRA is just a collection arm of Ministry of Finance. Also, leave NAPSA alone. Political interference under PF is threatening its operation. Last time they wanted to mix its balance sheet a sick balance sheets of the boma pension funds.

    Anyway, this is the visionless thinking Zambian votes for. What can we say?

    Ifintu ni Lungu? *sic*

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  10. Lungu and his Kambwili are a nuts, substantively. How is ZRA and NAPSA recover K375M from the Times of Zambia, K315M from Daily Mail and K22M from the Post Newspaper

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  11. Zambians deserve what they get when they vote …You deserve what you vote for each time you mark that ballot…..So stop crying, if you have to, cry in your closets!!!

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    • this is no idea at all, it shows not qualified you people are at leading this country. when companies issue shares they get money in return which is used to invest into the business. however in this case the will not get any new many simply new share holders. the relief they will get from this is minimal as zra does not collect its debts in cash but in return for free adverts.

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  12. Hehehe. OK let me put the investment language for everyone to understand. What Chishimba is saying this that ZRA and NAPSA should not claim what is due to them from Government media institutions but consider what these institutions owe as an investment. This would me that the ZRA, NAPSA will be getting dividends from the profits these institutions will be making.

    Question – Are government media institutions able to generate profits that can result into dividend payments?

    We need serious people to run Govt not the level of Kambwili guys!!

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  13. From a accounting point of view it is smart. But from a business point of view, NAPSA (which owes social security to the people) is exchanging value for no value which is morally wrong. Why should you buy equity in companies that have defaulted on paying you their debts? It is evident that such companies are not a going-concern!

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  14. In short the govt want to ‘Clean’ media houses balance sheet! Now can this method work???

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  15. In simplicity; The government is forcing NAPSA to exchange value for no value. NAPSA owes the people social security and NAPSA is owned by the people. NAPSA is owed funds by government departments and why must NAPSA convert that debt to equity in companies that cannot pay back? In my opinion, Kambwili is not a very intelligent person because that move will have to pass through parliament because it requires changing the National Pensions Act which precludes NAPSA from making such investments. Actually, NAPSA can only hold equity in listed companies on the LuSE.

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    • Scott promised to PRIVATIZE these newspapers. Have you forgotten?

      Now this ID!OT wants to keep them but make others pay for the losses!

      Next he will want to RENAME them. He will call them –

      DISASTER MAIL and POOR F00LS TIMES!

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  16. He even adds: “the development will enhance operations at the affected public media organisations namely Times of Zambia, Zambia Daily Mail and the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC)”. How will this be achieved, since there will be no cash inflow to buy materials, etc, to enhance the said operations? Unless he is implying that right now, the media houses are suffocated by repayments; but from what we read, and what is is saying, the meadia houses are not just paying anything, as they cannot afford to pay anything at the moment. So, this is, like others have said on this blog, an accounting solution to business problems!

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    • Exactly the point. This is simply debt forgiveness because these institutions are not servicing debts. There should be no difference. The only logic to this could be that the government is seeking to privatize some of these media houses. Why else would someone want to write-off debt that is not being serviced anyway?

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    • Maybe it means that the media houses concerned will no longer be required to remit their workers’ contributions to NAPSA and will no longer be required to pay any taxes to ZRA and will thus have more liquidity and thereby “enhance their operations.” There you have it, smart Kambwinomics..!

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  17. I cannot believe a Minister can actual make such a hallow thought public. Is there anyone in his ministry with a simple degree? ZRA has no legal mandate to hold shares in any company. The Act has no provision for such craziness. ZRA deals on a cash basis. It cannot forwards to government non-spendable balances. In monetary economics that would involve the creation of quasi-legal tender such government would have in turn use it for payments hence making it a legit form of ‘money’. No. No such madness. I recall the nontranferable Promisary Notes of the 90s.

    Neither is NAPSA able take such equity under its investment guidelines. If it were it would a bad investment.

    PF, kanshi where do u find these jokers? Gabon stadium is still funny. Hehehe ifintu ni Lungu ayi? ????????

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  18. Government can bail out any organisation as it deems fit. That is a political decision which they will be accountable to the electorate next year.

    Government does not contribute any money to NAPSA. And Government employees are exempt from paying NAPSA dues. Their pensions lie with the Public Service Pension Fund.

    NAPSA collects contributions from the private sector and related organisations. This is joe blogs and jelita mulenga’s money. There is no Government money in NAPSA.

    How on earth can Government ‘steal’ citizen’s property by abusing their powers of running NAPSA and put our money into a bottomless pit?

    Rainbow Kabimba/Membe come and retrieve our money from these PF thieves.

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  19. Imwe bantu, in short the minister wants remission of all taxes owed to the state.Mind you all these institution are quazi government and whatever revenues they generate goes to the state.

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    • Put them in liquidation. Do not throw good money after bad money. Simple “jtwisi”, there is no need to be self appointed expert, just use common sense.

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    • Let Government stop micro management of those institutions; let them write report and broadcast as they please, no political interference, and see how they start making money and then privatize.

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  20. Useless proposal from clueless government. Money in ZRA and NAPSA is ours. I do not want my money to be wasted in useless ventures. If this government had any sense they would just shut down those two useless newspapers what value do they add to our lives. NONE!!

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  21. Hon. Minister,

    Instead of making ludicrous proposals, can you please state Government position on the issues raised in by “JCTR condemns senseless and brutal death of a Zambian citizen Grayzer Matapa” statement published on this site?

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  22. Recapitalizing debt of public media institutions into capital-equity appear a clever way of justifying continued existing of loss making media institutions. ZRA abd NAPSA management boards should not be coerced to invest public funds into these government run institutions. They have to be accountable to the general public and pay their statutory obligations. PF should bear part to blame by appointing PF cadres to run these institutions at PFs expediency.
    That is what we call cadre ism governance.
    Change is a must from this type of managing Zambia.

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  23. Look at the graduate who is proposing methods of serving the dying GRZ. As long as they keep praising the neck less man for being appointed minister, revenue base of these PF institutions will keep dwindling until they close.
    Leave our money alone and ask RB to help out from his oil money.

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  24. There are many Policy Flaws in this stance. Number 1, who will pay for the deficit created at NAPSA because on non-remittance of pension contributions. Number 2. Will there be change in legislation to change ZRA into an investment company. Number 3. Does the ZRA Act mention investment anywehere. Bottom line is lets stop being jokers. This is wrong for the nation. You cant now allow non-profit making organisation to be shielded. Why cant they all be privitised instead of compromising NAPSA liquidity. Which money will be used to pay retirees from the said media house. I am very upset with these jokers.

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  25. Some of these public entities are like an ebola case;
    don’t touch when alive,sick and dead.

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  26. Kambwili is just mentioning the Times of Zambia. How about Zambia Daily Mail, ZNBC and Zamtel, are they up to date with statutory obligations? If not, how many companies is NAPSA and ZRA going to invest in? Please ba PF government, be serious for once and stop fantasising. We must be seen to be serious with issues and not to use expediency to get round things. The problem here is that government is embarrassed the fact that it was reminded that the same zeal they used to collect tax from the Post should be applied to the Daily Mail and the Times. Now out of shame, they have to find a way of justifying why they are not collecting tax from the parastatals. This is a shame. It spells failure on the part of the PF government.

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  27. ZRA is a collection agent collecting on behalf of Govt. The taxes collected by ZRA do not belong to ZRA. The tax belongs to Government. The outstanding tax is owed to Government. It is not ZRA’s money.

    Therefore, if there is to be any equity conversion, then it is equity due to Government not to ZRA.

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  28. These public media houses collected pension contributions from all their workers but did not pass the money onto NAPSA as agreed. All NAPSA needs to do is refuse to pay any worker from these public media houses upon retirement. Let them go to their employers to get their contributions equivalent to what NAPSA would have paid. As for ZRA, it is out of question. They should send bailiffs to collect the taxes owing or liquidate their properties. How can the taxman invest in a company that is failing to pay tax? They threatened to close The Post for taxes owed until they settled the debt. They should do the same to these public media houses. By the way, who needs Daily Mail, Times of Zambia and ZNBC? They should be privatized.

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  29. Is that Idi Amin Dada? I thought he was late! This guy is so fat and ugly! Whatever he has to say is whack!!

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  30. We need Public Media. Daily Mail, Times of Zambia and ZNBC, provide news that is accurate and not dramatised. Government must be supported by good Media so they can control the minds of their citizens (it is Friday)!

    Any solution other than Privatisation of these institutions is good for the state. In any case Privatising these after many other industries like Mines, mean we lose control and lose benefit of their services. The people must own something!

    It’s performance improvement that’s required not wholesale give away to private individuals. Citizens must forthwith go out to buy 3 news prints a day and recycle two for many purposes. Check out paper recycling sites! Donate your excess income to our institutions!! Um….you have a patriotic duty to support your gov’ts…

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    • Um….you have a patriotic duty to support your gov’ts’ mouth piece. Private ?Media Is like taking magic mushrooms, hallucinogenic at best!

      Why give MUVI type of media room for election stats cookery lessons?

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