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The Zambia Revenue Authority has reiterated that it operates independently, without political interference or any form of bias at any level.

In a brief statement released on Sunday by the ZRA Communications team, the authority said all taxpayers should comply with the tax laws.

“The ZRA wishes to assure the public that it operates independently, without political interference or any form of bias at any level,” it said.

It added, “Therefore, all taxpayers should comply with the Tax Laws and pay their taxes on time to avoid penalties, interest, enforcement action and prosecution.”

The Authority on Friday pounced on the Post Newspapers and issued a warrant of distress seeking to collect around K 16,000 in unpaid taxes.

ZRA officers, accompanied by armed police officers, arrived at the Lusaka offices of Post Newspapers along Bwinjimfumu around 08 Hours to serve a warrant demanding immediate payment of alleged late payment penalties and interest in a tax case against the company that arose in September 2014, when a similar raid was conducted.

The ZRA also delivered a demand notice for payment of allegedly unpaid VAT payments and unpaid payroll taxes.

The move was heavily criticised by the Post Newspaper who described it as an attempt to close down the newspaper by President Edgar Lungu’s administration.

Post General Manager for Finance Rowena Zulu said in the statement that the ZRA was “out to fix us” and claimed that authorities tipped off other media about the raid in advance saying “There is no doubt politics is at play in this matter.”

The development was also condemned by the International Press Institute who expressed concern over the raid saying “We are extremely concerned by the ZRA’s action, particularly coming on the heels of incidents in recent months that have ratcheted up pressure against The Post.

IPI Director of Advocacy and Communications Steven M. Ellis said, “Given the nature of the claims and the amounts sought, the case against The Post needs to be transparent and to be given time to work its way through the legal process.

Mr Ellis said a failure to afford both would have a chilling effect on media freedom in Zambia.
‘The raid comes at a time of increasing pressure directed towards The Post amid Zambia’s polarised political climate. Last month, a bullet penetrated the paper’s newsroom, but fortunately did not injure anyone.’

In July, criminal charges were brought against Post Editor-in-Chief Fred M’membe for allegedly disclosing classified information in an investigative piece the Post published about corruption in the ruling PF party.

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26 COMMENTS

  1. the opposite is true,why zra didnt pounce on the post under sata administration?and why now,plse list other companies which u have raided.

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    • So, how did you end up going to claim wrong figures then? That can only happen if you acted hastily to obey a knee jerk order to fight the Post.

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    • I am add that the Zambian Tax laws do not exempt parastatal companies from paying tax. Therefore, shouldn’t ZRA be equally be pursuing the Times of Zambia and Daily Mail with the same amount of vigor. Anyway, Kufekisa is merely doing his job as mouth piece for Berlin Msiska, who receives the instructions from the politicians.

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  2. Oh please, we know you don’t! Please stop insulting our intelligence, we know you must presume we are all fuulls.
    People within ZRA are talking you know, not everyone is in bed with Lungu and this unprecedented attack on the freedoms of this nation will not go unpunished & individuals within ZRA know that a day of reckoning will surely come & that is why they have already started distancing themselves and are already trying to position themselves on the right side of justice! Lungu has wrought havoc on the once beacon of freedom & democracy in Africa and him and all his accomplishes will surely pay for this. These statements you are issuing to the media will soon come to haunt you, this will come to pass, let those with hears listen and heed this warning!

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    • You have picked up on one word out of so many I have written & to seem to forget that auto-complete isn’t always helpful & that P aren’t paying as much attention to these posts. The BBC makes these mistakes everyday & I you cared to visit their site just now, you will find more than enough of these typos! So which native language should the BBC use instead?

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    • There you go, just now, everywhere I wrote ‘if’, auto complete appears to have replaced it with ‘I’ & I wrote ‘People’, it seem to have replaced it with ‘P’ & of course I didn’t care much to check coz I am out & about.
      Your knowledge of English hasn’t helped us solve the many issues we face in zambia has it?

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  3. What makes me chuckle when I read statements like this is that the format and template is exactly that of the UNIP days. Please, ZRA, remember that 50 years on, the populace is more enlightened and more intelligent. They can see right through what you are doing and saying. Moreover, we now have technologies that can even leak out directives and instructions given to you to “fix” certain entities and individuals. Tondolo musuma… just do your jobs as instructed.

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  4. Why does ZRA even waste time to explain themselves when they didn’t bother to show us why M’membe was exempt during Mr Sata’s time? It smacks of political interference in both cases and just shows how both the Post and ZRA are hypocrites!

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  5. Zambia Revenue Authority is not ashamed to say that it is operating in a professional matter. The fact that ZRA raided the Post Newspaper shows how unprofessional it is. The truth is ZRA is unprofessional and biased. ZRA should just close it mouth. Just last mouth we had National Prayers, and how do you expect Zambia to be blessed when you keeping lying that you are professionals and that you are not biased. God is not mocked. You guys are playing with fire.

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  6. Where have you been, ZRA, for The Past News Paper to have such a huge tax obligation? The Past or Post News Paper is only a stone throw away from your headquarters, just because Sata is no more you have decided to wake up. Give us breathing space.

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  7. Singapore is a developed nation because its first Prime Minister, the late Lee Kuan Yew insisted that without competent men and women of integrity at the helm of key institutions and government a country suffers. Once you have weaker people on top, the whole system slowly goes down. What Zambia is experiencing now is a result of widespread mediocrity and lack of integrity at all levels in government and parastatals. A statement like this from ZRA can only come from people who are mediocre and lack integrity. They lie without shame! Everyone can see through the ZRA lies! What a country!

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  8. May i kindly warn all the ZRA Politically motivated officers that they risk losing their jobs and be prosecuted once there is a change of government next year. Iam really sorry for those ZRA Officers who went to the Post News Paper, we have now kept your photos and in 2017, you will dance to our tune.
    Who doesn’t know that ZRA was instructed by Chishimba Kambwili and Edgar Lungu to close the Post.

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  9. If politics had nothing to do with this then it is true that the “THE SUN GOES ROUND THE EARTH” and SANTA CLAUS IS A BLACKMAN FROM CHILUBI..give us a break!

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  10. ZRA operates under direct instructions from the Government and in particular the Minister of Finance.

    It starts at the top. Berlin Msiska, the commissioner general, owes the position to a matrix of relationships including AB Chikwanda through MD Mwanakatwe and Bob Sichinga. Let him refuse and I divulge more!!!

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  11. Mmembe is a very bad tax payer he owes DBZ as well. He thinks by being friends to a sitting president gives him immunity to pay tax. He is already supporting Wynther in the hope that if he is elected president he will continue running away from paying taxes. He writes about hospitals not having drugs and yet he contributes to the shortages by not paying his taxes. We are all paying taxes who do you think you are to not pay. If it were someone else not paying taxes you were going to write screaming headlines and insult them. ZRA does not need to remind you, after all you learned, if a landlord in the compounds can pay tax for the houses he has put on rent why not you. Just pay.

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  12. If these guys are not influenced by politicians then they are incompetent. From their spokes person they are not disputing that the post is up to-date with their payments. they are claiming for PAYE from the post for money not yet paid to the employees. The other thing is that they have not reconciled their accounts on money the post paid to them but rushing for a warrant of distress. That’s insanity on the part of ZRA. These guys have completely lost it.

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  13. Can ZRA tell the nation how much Daily Mail, Times of Zambia and ZNBC owe them? When did these government controlled media institutions last pay their PAYE? ZRA is applying embarrassing double standards! On this one ZRA has been embarrassed and has lost credibility.

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  14. Ba ZRA, people got suspicious when you went with Media houses to witness and report on how you were going to shut down the Post Newspaper, this is where the secret got exposed! Next time do your home work before embarking on attacking the Post Newspaper. At the rate we are going, we might end up with sanctions by the International community for violating human rights , Zimbabwe is a good example and we all know the effects of sanctions. ZRA must be seen to be professional, friendly and non-partisan.

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  15. I do not support The Post at all. All taxes must be paid, however, there are some government institutions that owe ZRA PAYE and other taxes and those liabilities just sit in their books without being liquidated for years. So where is the same vigour in demanding payment? You can’t fool us.

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  16. If someone can prove that ZRA is not biased then I will obstain from sex for a year. That’s how ridiculous their statement is.

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  17. ZRA should get the money. The nation needs the money to improve the conditions in hospitals which the post writes so passionately about. For a newspaper that seeks to influence public opinion on who should lead the nation, evading tax is the last thing it should be associated with. So Fred, please we needed that money like yesterday. Pay!!

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