Chishimba Kambwili
Chishimba Kambwili

Government has called on all citizens renting out property to be paying 10 per cent withholding tax to the Zambia Revenue Authority because it is law.

Information and Broadcasting Services Minister Chishimba Kambwili made the call during a live interview on Radio Luapula in Nchelenge District.

Mr. Kambwili said the law was passed between 1992 and 1994 by the MMD Government at the time but were timid to implement the law because of politics of appeasement.

He said withholding tax is not a new law except that the MMD feared to lose votes from the people if they implemented the law but law is law and every citizen should comply.

Mr. Kambwili said the PF Government is just implementing the law that has been on the law books for many years and every citizen who owns property and rents it out should pay the 10 per cent withholding tax to enable Government in raising the required funds for financing developmental projects.

The Minister added that failure to pay the tax is breaking the law and if there are concerns on the amount of the percentage, Government is ready to dialogue on the percentage of the tax but paying withholding tax is law and every citizen should comply.

Mr. Kambwili was responding to a caller who wanted to know the meaning of withholding tax which the tenants of property being rented to them were required to pay to the Zambia Revenue Authority.

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72 COMMENTS

  1. try to reason the zambian economy the way it and people strugle to build most sub standard house through their small savings not a bond and you want tax,thats rubish,its the people looking after the government and not vice versa its a sin to be a zambian,nothing makes me proud to be one,no service delivery,hospitals ill equiped and you run to south africa when you are sick voetsek

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    • Boss,

      If I am right, Kanyama, Chawama, Jack, John Howard, Chibolya, John Leng’e, Kwa Mulenga, all Compounds called Chipata and Zambia compounds, Mwapona and maliposa are Illegal settlements.

      The government should first Legalize these settlements before asking the owners to pay tax. If only the landlords from Vila and Kabwata are subjected to paying tax, then this will be the worst form of economics of externalities.

      What they will tell you is that if they are the only ones to pay this tax, then let them be the only ones to vote because they are the ones paying taxes.

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    • There are people sadly in govt who have never been for the people only for themselves I’m begining to lose faith in PF me a hardcore PF supporter, real PF true PF cares for the poor, we won’t allow such intimidation. This is why 2026 its UNIP making the numbers, Zambians need to go back to their roots of national development and not personal wealth, fat greedy lawyers and hopeless bureacrats. This is why we will give you 2016 and maybe 2021 but 2026 its time for the United National Independence Party under new leadership to regain Zambia’s independence this time economic independence.

      Nomba ni EL2016

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    • I think that there is nothing wrong with people paying withholding tax because rental housing is an important sector that should be contributing to the revenue of this country. if people are renting out their houses it means it is a business and they are bound by law to pay taxes. this is not a political issue bwana.

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    • First, the govt should collect enough tax from the mines such as KCM, then we shall pay WHT on the rentals we pay to our landlords. Else can’t never!!!

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    • Kambili himself owns a lot of properties, can he show us proof of the payments he’s been paying to ZRA?

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  2. You’ve failed to “implement” the Law regarding mining companies! You now want to take the burden to already burdened Citizens! Why niw! Broke government!

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  3. Let the government then scrap off the taxes that we pay when buying building materials from shops. I understand to anything that one uses when building they pay double tax without knowing. E.g. Lafarge Cement as producers are taxed by ZRA, I as a consumer I pay tax also as I buy cement. So why should I continue to pay taxes to the government over something they did not labour for. The one who gives me rentals as my tenant he/she was deducted tax from the pay slip. Can someone help.

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  4. I pay tax on my monthly income from which I save in order to build a house. To me paying tax on rentals from this house is tantamount to paying double tax on the same income. Please spare us the agony. I am ready to jail over this matter.

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  5. This is a disgrace. You can’t just wake up one morning and start asking people to pay a tax nobody understands. We know the PF are trying to raise funds for their campaigns but this is day light robbery. If it’s never been implemented then who gave Kambwili powers to implement laws on national television?

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  6. So the PF are not scared to lose votes over this as this dull minister is saying? Then voters such teach you a lesson.

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    • Zambia is where it is because successive governments have traded sanity for a vote.

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  7. Visionless government. After failure to tax mines you now want to pounce on the innocent. With no jobs and poor pensions some people survive on these rentals and you want to add more misery on them. You should be talking about repealing this bad law instead. How about for a start taxing your Kaponyas on the streets? Besides what social amenities do you provide in these residential areas to warrant the tax. Useless government indeed.

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  8. Sadly this law has existed for years…it just people in Zambia have got so used to living in a black market economy; landlords in most countries pay tax maybe not in Greece.

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    • @Jay Jay:
      You are so uncivilised and uneducated! You dont just pay Taxes without a service being delivered for the Taxes one pays! In the UK we pay Council Tax for Refuse collection and Policing. So tell us what Withholding Tax is for? Ars.ewhore!

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    • Sorry I dont reply to silly immature bloggers like you ..who insult instead of brainstorm issues! !

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  9. This is a visionless and toothless govt. The ZWD warned us this earlier. it has failed to get enough tax and now wants to get it from poor renters because land lards will just pass the tax to tenants since they already pay taxes on their houses.

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    • @Jay Jay you haven’t replied to ”silly immature bloggers ” despite the invectives! However, he raises an important issue about ”You dont just pay Taxes
      without a service being delivered.” For me thats the problem in Zambia- we dont hold the leaders to account. In the end it will be interesting to see this gusto Minister how much witholding tax he has paid for his Kambwili Villas! Or even for Edgars VAT on sales of his property in Solwezi!

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  10. It is only when a man becomes broke that he remembers even a 10 ngwee owed to him by a poor man down the village.

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  11. Firstly give the basic services before demanding for tax,no maintenance whatsoever but quick to demand tax???Rubbish

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  12. This tax is retrogressive in nature. Instead of encoraging and supporting the already poor people to develop and own property especially with the current housing deficity, this policy only comes to drain the energy. PF has been lacking stakeholder engagements! Ba minister, ur pretending to be smart by saying MMD introduced it, we are just implementing. Such poor reasoning should not come from a minister. Two wrongs dont make the right thing. How many MMD policies have u changed because they did not suit u? Y not change the one that does not suit people? Listen to us and look at the enviroment in zambia before anything copied can be pasted!!! Thus is another issue i see my president changing like mining tax!!!

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  13. USA is what it is because of citizens pay taxes. Let’s not bring politics into this, its obvious the more money the government has the more roads we have.

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    • Not in Zambia. The more money there’s, the more stealing happens. Just look at the $25m AB Chikwanda and associates stole from KKIA project.

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    • Look here iwe chimbwi the housing allawance we get is taxed already at paye why should we pay another withording tax. You’re faild to collect tax from the mines who are hopelessing us and you want poor people to squre the defference

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    • The more money collected the more trips and political appointments that ECL will make

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    • @ Mambwe in the USA people gladly pay taxes, in fact they feel duty bound as individual responsibility to pay and what is collected is accounted for and services for better living are visible. Not where one see nothing but fatter politicians

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  14. This tax is retrogressive in nature indeed. I wish the P.F government to channel those funds that shall be collected to build more housing units than paying for those loans we are not benefiting the general citizenry. My housing allowance is already taxed what does this government exploiting the poor.

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  15. They are just going to push the rentals upwards, it will the the common man to suffer at the end of the day. Ba pf this is wrong timely especially when there are elections coming up next year.

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    • Thanks Bro. I have already done just that….!! increased the rentals and have written to the tenants to that effect.

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  16. Zambia is where it is because successive governments have traded sanity for a vote. Just look at how our streets are crowded by street vendors. Chiluba even created a ministry for vendors just because of a vote. Most of you against this tax are fake because you oppose everything PF does. Just ask for reduction in the 10% and pay up otherwise you’ll be imprisoned.

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    • Its because of people who reason like you @Ndaje Kahks that 50 years of independence with vast resources we still wallow in poverty. Western governments collect taxes from people because they also deliver services to residents. The majority of people even in some of the rented properties still use pit latrines and no piped water, erratic electricity and you are encouraging this rubbish. Your thinking sucks.

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  17. I thought withholding tax on rentals is an old thing but it has mostly only applied to a selected few? If the US ambassador for example, rents HH’s house in New Kasama, do you think they will breach the law by avoiding to pay withholding tax? That’s me thinking aloud…

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  18. @16.1 jones- Analyse my posting without emotions and you will find that it makes sense. This is not a case of which came first the egg or the chicken. Let me give you a typical example: my mother was a District Governor in KKs government and everyday we used to receive people who had been evicted, had water disconnected etc at our home to complain to mom. Mother would go to the Council offices and instruct that these people get back their services. In the end almost everybody stopped paying rentals. So who was to blame if the council failed to service plots, collect garbage? It seems we Zambian don’t really know what we want.

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    • Your mother was to blame! So you and your family should take responsibility for setting the current attitude of unaccountability in Zambia.

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  19. For the last 3 yrs, while i was busy struggling to build my kantemba of 4 small holding flats to improve ”streams of money” for my family, little did i know that my tenants and i were expected to give part of the expected transaction income to uyu baita ati ”ZRA”. I got no help from any body not even my bank, ”kafulumente”, area Councilor or MP. In fact, the paper work is fully yet to be processed by the Council.
    Nomba ati leta piya. Ukutumpa naine ndetila, panga road first…..!!

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    • Ignorance is no defense bwana. All business people have to pay taxes although the law is lenient to street vendors (even those selling cars on the street!). Like Kent and Ndaje have stated above, taxes have to be paid but the challenge is whether government has the capacity to monitor and capture all house owners letting out their houses.

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  20. It looks like we have unanimity here – NO TAXATION WITHOUT SERVICES BEING PROVIDED. Zambians have spoken; take that to your boss, iwe Chimbwili.

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  21. Bwana any business should be subjected to tax. I hope even these so called shylocks should be scrutinised as well especially in mining towns namely mufulira, kitwe, chingola etc

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  22. Bwana any business should be subjected to tax. I hope even these so called shylocks should be scrutinised as well especially in mining towns namely mufulira, kitwe, chingola etc. These guys are abusing citizens.

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  23. Its simple, a call to all Landlords to increase the rentals, let the tenants bargain with the government, lets transfer the costs to the tenants.
    Why should I pay double tax, when I paid for the costs of building materials?
    PF could not force the mines to pay the tax, because mine proprietors threatened to cut jobs.
    I urge all landlords to increase rentals by 15-20% so that the same can go to tax, and the change can be given to the land lord. Simple.

    Then lets play the music and see who shall dance ! voting is coming…

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  24. Surprisingly, all income is supposed to be taxed. MPs income and are never taxed. ZRA goes for innocent people like this! I promise, sindina mangise na ndala za nyoko. Sinilipila!

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  25. @18.1 BTL that mother is hypothetical. She stands for every ZAMBIAN. Let’s admit it we don’t want to take ownership

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  26. After borrowing heavily now they want to push the burden on us poor Zambians. Please ba PF just find the money to pay off the loans than making us suffer.

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  27. The problem is not WHT. I’m willing to pay but I need reciprocatory service.
    Adopting a hardline stance won’t help CK, negotiate just like you did with the mines. Also explain why now if you are to allay speculation. Just saying its law is not enough.
    Above all our tax structure is rotten. ZRA & tax system should be reformed.
    This tax after all should be collected by local authorities. We need decentralization now.

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  28. @Kent House either you are just plain daft or you are a Minister in Zambia! Why would HH or anyone pay witholding tax on a premises one is living in? Anyway, please feel free to donate your share of the tax!

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  29. You fail to tax mining companies who externalize whatever they make and you target a poor Zambian. A Zambian who has struggled to put up a structure and is out of employment. Is this being pro poor ba PF? Whatever you want to start will have a ripple effect, the landlords will pass the burden on the tenants whose housing allowance is already taxed at source. Listen to the cries of the people and amend of drop this bad law. 2016 is very near stop being too comfortable.

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    • *Listen to the cries of the people and amend or drop this bad law. 2016 is very near stop being too comfortable.*

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  30. Hon Kambwili please put your foot down, its so painful to some of us who struggled so much to put up those structures. I belt the house after getting my pension which was heavely taxed, besides that, the materials were being taxed. Its not fair for some one just to wake up and Introduce such a hush tax. JUST WAIT FOR 2016. BATILA LUNSHI ASHUMFWA BAMUSHIKILA PAMO NECITUMBI

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  31. Hon Kambwili is right,most of the bloggers here are UPND Cadres who will condem whatever PF does. To them HH is the only one who can solve our problems and no one else

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  32. On this one GRZ can kiss my arse. They can implement but enforcement will be a nightmare and if backed against the wall will just increase rent.

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  33. It is like we have a useless party in government which thinks that all that was proposed in the past should just be implemented without looking at the pros and cons. I thought it was government in power to scrutinise whether that law was good or bad. I have always said that we need a government that is run on professional lines. We should have people educated enough to analyse such laws. Who does not know that the economy of the country is in shabbles as a result people depend on these small amounts that trickle from the rentals. It was the more reason why Chiluba had even to exept some property owners from paying ground rates at some point. Mr. Kabwili should mature more and be more human. We know he likes talking on media but this should be accompanied by proper advise and good look at L

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    • It’s you the electorate who needs to wake up and know the role of your MPs…the law is the law…never mind the empty tins you elect into State House.
      Wake up!!

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  34. When your lawmakers are in parliament passing these laws …you think its a jock and you dont hold them to account as to where these funds will be channelled to …when they are enforced you complain about the mines not paying their fair share well where were you when your Lungu reversed the mining policy?
    Wake up from your docility and make your MPs represent your interests; learn to organise yourselves for worthy causes not silly protests about DSTV.

    Wake up from your folly and docility! !

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  35. My suggestion is that the govmnt only taxes thoz lettin out commercial properties or thoz that r lettin houses to foreigners.otherwise its not gona b fair to tax poor widows and orphans who hav nothin bt the little house their father left them in wusakile township

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    • Sata actually reduced it from 15% to the 10% because because he had invested heavily in property along the line of rail

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    • Boza daddy. Go to ZRA and get the FACTS this tax has been around for a while BUT it was 5% and was increased to 10% last year under whose watch? Go to ZRA at Mulungushi house (Ministry of Lands) at corner Independence and Nationalist road (traffic lights close to UTH) and get FACTS not thumb sucking figures and dates from the air to mislead people ignorant of the FACTS. Ask those of us who have been paying.

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    • Your Sata was refusing to pay even the duty for importing a cooking stove. He had more than twenty properties in the copper belt alone. Only God knows how many in Lusaka were he was Governor. In short you are thinking of an idea Sata not the real one. As ZRA how much tax he paid even from his businesses. Do not support leaders blindly without knowing them deeply. It is very very sad indeed.

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  36. This law is ridiculous, 10% is a lot of money for property which is not yours. What is wrong with 3% which tax is slap on normal business?

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  37. I am so happy for Zambia, well done! Big up’s, woop woop, high five, hurrah, wonderful, marvelous, I am elated. This is pure genius when you consider that the fact that in reality the “real voters” in the comboni’s wont be visited and wont pay jack the wont pay nada. ZRA will only be on kuma yardi ki ki ki enjoy…. not kwa kalikiliki, george, chobolya etc they wont even step foot. Enjoy…….. Personaly I wouldnt mind paying even 15% if EVERYBODY PAYS. But it ain’t gonna happen (as the Americans say)…. I am willing to bet my left nut that it will be as above…. watch this space…. like I said enjoooooy…… pantu tamumfwa. You use a recipe for baking bread but are expecting a flamboyant wedding cake. Akulyeni

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  38. This is rubbish why is this broke government saying?They want more money for their terminal benifits.

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  39. The failure of most of these African policies is because of unreasonable thinking and faulty laws. People have struggled to put up a substandard structure because of high cost of building then without reasoning you charge them 10%. The royalty tax is at 9% after being revised downwards from 20%. This is an indication of typical knee jerk decisions without thinking. If you intend implementing this law, bwana Pf, think through it and come up with a sustainable rate then you can steadily increase it. This way the tax payers will be carried along. It should not be like a punishment. We need to see our leaders lead by coming forward ZRA to pay their dues.

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  40. Talking talking nothing they will get send to every house a facsimile, then you discuss with people.

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  41. Study well the situation people are nomads in compounds. They don’t stay for a long time at one place once the Landlord increase the amount they leave the place. Contracts are needed between the landlord and the tenant in order to start paying tax to ZRA.

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  42. As much as it is law to pay taxes and wihtholding tax is one such tax and the most ignored by many. I think we are all obliged to pay this taxi if we have put any property on rent. But my contribution is:there is need to carry out a census on properties so as to come up with a number of citizens renting properties and carry out a compulsory registraion for all landlords.There is need to have abody through which defaulting landlords must be tracked and through which registration will be done. In absence of such a system,it will be difficult to collect withholding tax income because in Zambia,we dont pay voluntary taxes.

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  43. This Kabwili is really deadwood. How can you implement this law when 75% of houses in Zambia are ramshackles? Also, how are you going to know whether the person living in the house is a tenant or not? MMD was not timid, it was not practical and it is more difficult now to implement. For once, please stop and think .This is why you need reforms in town planning. Every thing has a purpose. The reason why governments ensure houses are constructed properly is basically to facilitate tax collection, postal and parcel delivery. This is the reason why Zampost has collapsed and this also the reason why you are collapsing, because your borrowing and the deficit is unsustainable. This guy, in all fairness cannot be a Minster. I think there is a serious shortage of talent in Zambian right now.

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