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Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Judge sets October 30 for ruling on ZRA vs Post Newspaper

Headlines Judge sets October 30 for ruling on ZRA vs Post Newspaper

Post Newspaper Editor in Chief Fred M'membe
Post Newspaper Editor in Chief Fred M’membe

THE Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has insisted that the Post Newspapers and its proprietor Fred M’membe must pay all statutory obligations they owe the institution in form of tax amounting to K22 million inclusive of interest and penalties accrued so far.

ZRA has argued that the Value Added Tax (VAT) and individual income tax collected by the Post Newspaper from clients and its employees respectively did not form part of the newspaper company’s coffers.

This is in a matter in which the Post and Fred M’membe have run to the Lusaka High Court to seek judicial review after ZRA demanded the payment of K22 million that was outstanding.

The Revenue House has said the Post was obliged to collect tax and remit it to ZRA without fail but did not remit despite collecting.

The Post had also neglected to remit to ZRA the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) and VAT deducted and collected from employees and clients respectively, including company tax hence the Post having admitted outstanding tax debt due to ZRA in the sum of K22, 517, 952, 04 inclusive of interest and penalties.

There was no justification, the Authority has argued, for Mr M’membe to claim for special treatment because ZRA was vested with authority to administer and manage the tax system in the country and it did so within the remit of the law.

In spite of the fact that in 2011 ZRA waived K16 million from the Post indebtedness in interest and penalties in the hope that the company would settle subsequent tax obligations, the company failed and accrued more debt in taxes.

When the matter came up for hearing yesterday before High Court Judge Mwiinde Siavwapa in chambers, both counsels for the Post and ZRA said they would rely on the documents submitted before the court.

Both parties will rely on the affidavits and evidence before the High Court before they could make their final written submissions.

Judge Siavwapa then set 30th October, 2015 as date for judgment and reminded both parties to make their written submission by 31th August, 2015.

In spite of the fact that in 2011 ZRA waived K16 million from the Post indebtedness in interest and penalties in the hope that the company would settle subsequent tax obligations, the company failed and accrued more debt in taxes.

Now ZRA wants the outstanding K22 million paid in one installment and feels the Post had the capacity to do so because they have invested over US$1 million in agricultural activities while neglecting or refusing to pay tax obligations.

According to submissions before the High Court by ZRA, the Post has not been remitting company tax for the period 2006-2007, 2008-2009 and 2011-2012 financial years and other outstanding tax debt due on its undertaking for Time to Pay Arrears of Tax, in the Time to Pay Agreement (TPA).

ZRA said the Post did not deserve leniency or judicial review because the institution could not be treated in an exceptional manner as it had even failed to honour previous settlement agreements.

In 2011, ZRA cancelled over K16 million in favour of the Post in unpaid or unremitted taxes, but despite the action by ZRA to give the Post and M’membe the waiver, they continued to breach the law by failure to honour the terms of settlement including retaining payments that should have been forwarded to ZRA.

Commissioner General Berlin Msiska wrote to Mr. M’membe and the Post Newspapers in September, 2014 reminding them that they had neglected to fulfill their obligations by not paying taxes.

“As you are aware in October, 2011, we approved your appeal for a waiver of penalties and interest after you successfully paid the principal taxes in installments. Our expectations were that you would be a compliant taxpayer. However, it has come to our attention that you have accumulated another tax liability. You neglected to remain current with your tax obligations and accumulated yet another tax liability,” Mr. Msiska wrote.

He said the institution was constrained to accept the proposals made by the Post and Mr. M’membe on the mode of payment of tax because they had continued to breach the law on tax remittance.

“In the premises, we are constrained to accept your proposal to clear your tax liability in installments as there is no compelling reasons for us to once more exercise our discretion and allow you to settle your tax obligations by installments. We now demand the immediate payment of the total tax liability of K22,517,952: 05 without fail,” Mr. Msiska said.


  1. In October 2011. So President Sata started cancelling taxes immediately he assumed Power?, barely weeks in power. Yet He said he hated Corruption?.

    Scandalous to say the least.

    But we need this money now. This is nothing political. If the judge decides otherwise, then we will all ask to have our tax refunded effective the days of Mwanawasa. And continued in the days of Sata.

    • You would be naive and silly to think anything is happening on that day,

      Our judges are as corrupt as they come. Take all the robes of all the good judges that have ever lived on the face of the earth, and they would not be large enough to cover the iniquity of one corrupt judge

      This is one start of a tennis game that would end no where.

      history suggests taking this man to court and trying him as brave as it appears on face value, it is just a mere facade.

      Chiluba, Sata Banda Mwanawasa failed, Lungu wont succeed

      Zambia without the Post Newspaper is unthinkable. Long Live Mr Mmembe, we have your back.

      You have my support. You are the only credible hard copy newspaper I know of there.

      Banda has cost us more money than Mmembe ever will


    • The Judge handling the case is one of the corrupt Mmembe stooges! we shall watch him carefully!

    • Collect taxes from Multinationals before harassing your own people. What’s wrong with you Africans? It’s only 22 Million Dollars, yet you’re owed billions by Multinationals. Imagine trying to collect nkongole of K1000.00 from your son when you can’t collect nkongole of K100,000.00 from your friend!

  2. @ Mushota, if its true that you don’t live in Zambia, your stance on this matter can be explained because you don’t feel the need to pay tax.

    We are dealing with a population which is largely poor but being subjected to tax (rightly so). But others, who are not necessarily poor have chosen not to pay.

    The people who are evading tax have further chosen to scandalize others.

    Tax is non-negotiable. Otherwise all of us would love to negotiate.

    • Because of failure of the Post and its owner, plus others like him, that think the are above the Law, Zambia has a budget DEFICIT.

      And now has to issue Eurobonds to get cash for salaries!

      This man should be LOOCKED UP on the grounds that he is a THREAT TO NATIONAL SECURITY!!!!!

    • Tutu I hate you. Read what Mushota is saying again. You are a foo.l. Mushota is not saying that Mmembe should not pay tax and you stup.id ZAMBIANS should. She’s saying that Mmembe is a different and complex breed of a ZAMBIAN who will not badge to anyone, and I agree. Please do not respond to this if YOU don’t understand what I am saying. Mmembe is as hard as they come. These guys will just be skating around him. No Fred no ZAMBIA, no Post no ZAMBIA. It’s as simple as that. It’s the land of ZAMBIA first then Mmembe then you ZAMBIANS next. Lungu and RB are somewhere around tenth or so on the pile. It would take the population of ZAMBIA and that ot two neighbouring countries to half-understand the complexity of how Mmembe operates. GO AWAY!!

    • @Analyser

      This case is political persecution .

      Why target the Post Newspaper when hordes owe ZRA billions?

      Long live the Post!!!

    • Am I saying anything different to what you just said Munyo stup.id lopi? Get a life!! Let me simplify what I said. Mmembe is complex he understands all that about how dubious the persecutors are and he ain’t gonna sit down and be seeped by them. The post will live on beyond this RB and his puppet Lungu. Do you get it?

  3. Mr M’membe you made the Post Newspaper vulnerable by being so excited and so involved in political power. As a Zambia I feel you abused the mail as to produce mediocre leadership to a point where even yourself, are a victim. Please, be careful now and in future, for its ok to make mistake but not to repeat same mistake.

  4. The zeal exhibited here by ZRA must be the same towards Zambia Daily Mail, Zamtel, Zesco, Times of Zambia, ZNBC, Zamim, Evelyn Hone College, and so many other quasi government institutions. If this doesn’t happen, then we will know that Lungu is behind the scam because the newspaper is critical of his pathetic governance and corruption revelations.

    • As usual like most UpDn cadres or should I say zealots you missed the point, the post(or past ) newspaper is privately owned, all the other institutions you have mentioned are owned by the government of Zambia.
      I am sure you still will not see the point I am making, unless HH points it out to you and like most UpDn zealots you will say, “HH is so clever”.

    • iwe do you hear anything from all the other institutions you have named? its simple when you live in a glass house you dont throw stones.
      this past should just pay up then can go on and write the nonsense they want ..

  5. We would like to know the criteria used by ZRA to waive the K16 million unpaid tax by the Post. Who made the decision and why? This is a very serious issue. If you waived the tax then why pursue them now?

    • Exactly my concern there! Unthinkable to say the least and yet am taxed month in month out! Sh!t!

    • questioner its was called a tax waver its common when a company needs help,very common with zesco and water and sewerage.

  6. In 2011, ZRA cancelled over K16 million in favour of the Post in unpaid or unremitted taxes…what a country! Cancelling tax under what circumstances?

  7. well ZRA has been used to bring down perceived political enemies. If you are a friend of the party in power you can do your business without paying tax, once you cross the line of the powers that be, the bull dog (ZRA) and other state machinery are set on you.
    let us assume that the post is closed tomorrow, who will suffer?
    Firstly its those young journalists that work there with their families.
    secondly, the government will stop receiving taxes via PAYE, and corporate taxes for good as opposed to helping the paper though an agreement to help it clear the arrears.
    thirdly, fred will suffer a bit because he would lost his investment, but he will not fail to put food on the table and fail to settle his utility bills like his journalists.
    Like GBM, when the contract with FRA was…

  8. terminated, the casualties were the truck drivers, lorry boys and their families while GBM could still afford to buy a modern range rover as a valentine gift for his wife.
    The point, fight your battles with Fred, but don’t aim to close his business. I am not his biggest fun but he is contributing to the well being of the economy.
    I rest my case.

  9. So long as our courts are run by men in secret societies, Mmembe will walk free from his debt. It is these same men that ensure that prisons are full of the poor. HH would ensure the poor continue to suffer and pay a high price for freedom. If anybody wants a debate on this matter, please challenge me.

  10. The question we should be asking ourselves is that how he got away with such huge sums when us the poor Zambians we have a welcome party of ZRA customs officials waiting for us at the border when we import our cheap second-hand vehicles. If he was able to do it what is stopping ministers and ruling party sympathisers to get away with it now? We need serious reforms.

    I tell you what if it is in the UK, Inland Revenue would have let him at least serve a minimum of 12 months in prison then they would start talking about a repayment plan.

  11. This guy has not been sorted out yet, what are we waiting for?
    ZRA, DBZ etc, pull up your socks.

    The idoit owes so much money which can be used to better the lives of poor Zambian people and yet the same idoit preaches to us the need to stop the exploitation of poor people! Look here you fuuls who support this scoundrel, there NO difference between exploitation by this scoundrel and exploitation by the politicians he condemns every day pretending to be a saint himself, sheet stoopid bastar!

  12. Agreed Jay Jay, he should be locked up for 12 months before we start talking. One justification for a specific Presidential decree just for the scoundrel and lock him up as required.

    We can even rest from his senseless stories and editorials, probably even save our Mama Nawakwi and Papa Milupi from further embarrassment. The woman has allowed herself to be turned into an embecile thinking that she is getting publicity from the Post.

  13. How many court cases is Mmembe going to engage himself in? In the local lingua we would say, “Mnyamata akonda ndeo.” The man wants to fight with everyone. Can this guy get a life? Hasn’t he got a wife and children to keep him busy? A family is a full time job. He has too much free time on himself, hence he wants ndeo all over. If he is not defaming RB or Lungu, he is stealing from his employers. If he is not stealing from DBZ, he is fighting Chikwanda. What kind of person is this guy? Does he have any friends to advise him? Dr. Matibini maybe? or is it the Nchito brothers? What about Kabimba or are they just tools he uses?

  14. The only good Fred Mmembe would be a dead one. This guy has caused a lot of people more misery than any other Zambian you can think of. Fred needs to be assass………period, then Zambia will be peaceful. I hate the bastaad, this mother faaka.

  15. @Mutale chitapankwa
    100 years ago and present days, in humanity means a lot and a lot of changes. M’membe is clever, he doent physically harm people but uses the brain through the paper. He makes people fight his battles. Its upto people to realise when they are being used to fight his battles and decide whether to help him or not. He is a human being I dont think its necessary to suggest barbarically that he is better off dead.

  16. I think it’s also criminal for the ZRA to waive ZMW 16m in unpaid tax. Are these guys allowed under the law to do this at will without a subject of parliamentary oversight? If they can easily forgive their friends to fulfill their tax obligations, it is no wonder the country has no money. This is scandalous and corruption investigations must be commenced. This country really has no rule of law.

    Mmembe will turn around and argue that if you forgave me then, why not now? Crazy argument but why not throw it there. Also you just can’t argue “but others owe you just as much”… morally yes but legally that can’t stand.

    By the way what happened to the DBZ loan? Oh dear!

  17. swaa! make sure he pays the full amount.where does he get his power from..this time you are in trouble big boy.

  18. It is no defense in the High Court that there are are others who owe ZRA.
    Mmembe will be found guilty on at least one of his cases. He has only survived in the recent past because of his influence on incumbent Presidents whom we shall not name. This vital ingredient in his survival so far no longer exists. Every time he wakes up in the morning, he smells jail, that is if he sleeps at all. If he does not sleep, at least he knows that jail is beckoning, hence his desperation as can be seen in his stories and editorials recently. The trouble is that Mmembe only knows the language of intimidation as his tool to get what he wants. This tool has now been rendered impotent because he used his last tramp cards foolishly prematurely during the last presidential by election and it didn’t work.

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