Post Newspaper employees want to know how the Newspaper accumulated the K53 million Tax Bill

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Fred Mmembe (in a cap) speaks to Journalists shortly after addressing workers on Thursday following the closure of the Post
Fred Mmembe (in a cap) speaks to Journalists shortly after addressing workers on Thursday following the closure of the Post

Fred Mmembe (in a cap) speaks to Journalists shortly after addressing workers on Thursday following the closure of the Post
Fred Mmembe (in a cap) speaks to Journalists shortly after addressing workers on Thursday following the closure of the Post

POST Newspaper employees are shocked the new K53 million tax debt assessments by the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) was a result of investigations into tax evasion by the newspaper and are now demanding for a forensic audit to determine how billions of kwacha deducted from their salaries and VAT were used instead of being remitted to the tax body.

The employees are shocked that ZRA discovered the attempts by the Post Newspaper to avoid tax payment which had accumulated to more than K53 million.

The employees are now demanding that Post Newspaper owner, Fred M’membe should explain how he used the money that was deducted from their salaries and VAT for the newspaper to have accumulated such a huge and staggering tax debt.

They also fear that the company might not have been sending their contributions to the National Pensions and Savings Authority (NAPSA).

The workers spoke out about their plight for the first time yesterday after some of them were sent on forced leave following the closure of the newspaper by ZRA two weeks ago.

“We are shocked that there was an attempt of tax evasion happening right under our noses by our company. It had to take ZRA to conduct investigations into our tax compliance to discover that we had accumulated a K53 million tax debts apart from the K14 million for which ZRA closed our operations. ‘‘There is a general sense of distress here because those who have been asked to stay away have not been paid and are not even certain as to whether they will receive their salaries because the boss has formally announced that the company accounts have been frozen by the Zambia Revenue Authority,” the source said.

The sources said that the workers were concerned that while PAYE and NAPSA were deducted the newspaper had not been remitting the money to ZRA, leading to the accumulation of more than K53 million debts. They fear that the newspaper might not be resuscitated and they might not get anything as benefits for the years they have worked for the company.

It was learnt yesterday that The Post last week asked some of its senior journalists to stay away from work as the newspaper was working out means of reopening and begin normal operations.

But sources at the Post Newspapers said the affected employees were worried that they would not receive their June salaries as management had earlier informed them that the newspaper’s bank accounts had been frozen.

The source said many workers had realised that the newspaper had been used them to fight certain political battles and governments the newspaper did not like.

The source accused the newspaper of having maliciously fought political leaders that had resisted to be ‘‘colonised’’ and that most of the young men and women at the newspaper would find it difficult to find jobs in either Government or quasi-government institutions because of the reputation of the newspaper.

“You know how Zambians feel about the Post Newspaper and our boss. There is a general perception that our boss has used the newspaper to fight his own political and financial battles with every government he did not like.

‘‘There is a belief that whoever differed with the boss became a target of malice, slander, innuendos and blatant abuse. He has fought anyone who had refused to be colonised and this has had a bearing on how even workers are viewed,” the source said.

The source said most Government officials were not ready or willing to interact with journalists from the Post Newspaper because most of them had become victims of illegal recordings of their conversations.

46 COMMENTS

    • You selfish people and your selfish HH. it is not about HH, but about a crime committed by the Post and now about the people who are going without pay and families suffering. Your selfish HH is also criminal in this case for inciting the Post to be rude and unruly instead of advising them to pay taxes. HH himself may be pays taxes but instead sees it right for the Post not to pay the same just for political reasons. This is cheap and childish of him and the entire UPND on this matter. He and his UPND are not fit to rule but ruin this country with such kind of reasoning.

      That is why we say there is no reason for so-called change because there is no reasonable alternative, especially from HH and UPND.

    • Argentina and Barcelona footballer Lionel Messi has been sentenced to 21 months in prison for tax fraud. His father, Jorge Messi, was also given a jail term for defrauding Spain of €4.1m (£3.5m; $4.5m) between 2007 and 2009. They also face millions of euros in fines for using tax havens in Belize and Uruguay to conceal earnings from image rights. However, neither man is expected to serve time in jail. Under the Spanish system, prison terms of under two years can be served under probation. WHO IS MUMEMBE TO……?????!!!!!!

    • I am waiting to hear what the likes of LAZ chair lady, and all those NGOs, individuals and organizations that that have been supporting the tabloid now have to say to the employees who are demanding that they know where their money went. This should also teach them a lesson about running to the press before they do their due diligence.

    • @Habasimbi what Messi did is tax evasion! What the Post did is tax avoidance! One is illegal and the other is perfectly legal. However, tax can even be deferred (re Carnival Funishers, Avani et al). Google, Microsoft all escape paying taxes through tax avoidance and are head quarters in countries where there are low taxes such as Ireland! Perhaps The Post should relocate to online!

  1. THE EMPLOYEES OF THE POST ARE ENTITLED TO KNOW WERE THERE BENEFITS STANDS, THIS IS ALSO FAIR AS THE EDITOR HAD PREVIOUSLY STATED THAT “THE NEWSPAPER WAS THE MOST DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTION IN THE COUNTRY’. LOOKING AT IT FROM ONE PERSPECTIVE! HOWEVER THERE ARE A NUMBER OF FACTORS THAT BOTH THE EMPLOYEES AND THE NEWSPAPER MANAGEMENT MUST CONSIDER!
    LIKE MOST COUNTRIES UNDER THE CURRENT SITUATION, IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT YES AS A VOICE OF THE POOR THE POST IS SUPPOSED TO CRITICIZE EACH DECISION IN A FAIR MANNER, BUT THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT THE ORGANIZATION IS ABOVE THE LAW! NO!

    THE EMPLOYEES MUST CONSULT WITH THEIR LEADER TO PROVE HOW DEMOCRATIC HE IS AND THEREAFTER ADDRESS EACH ISSUE ACCORDINGLY! THE ISSUE OF TAX EVASION AT 53 MILLION OR 6MILLION DOLLARS IS A MIUTE ISSUE, BUT WE…

  2. hunger knows no loyalty. very soon because of this revelation., NAPSA will visit. workers are in panic mode . they cant just be showered with praises..they need to eat

  3. BUT WE MUST REMEMBER THE POST STANDING IN SOCIETY IN TERMS OF ADVERTISING REVENUE,NEWSPAPER SALES AND EMPLOYMENT IS WAY ABOVE YOUR AVERAGE MEDIA INSTITUTIONS!

    THE PROBLEM HERE IS THE LEADERS WITH KEY MANAGEMENT NEED TO UNITE AND REMOVE EDGAR! HE HAS FOUND A LOOPHOLE THAT WILL NOT RESULT IN ANYTHING TANGIBLE!

    LET THE POST USE ITS HIGHER EDUCATION EMPLOYEES CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS TO ADDRESS THE SITUATION! I PERSONALLY FEEL THIS IS JUST A PLOY TO REDUCE THE COMPANY’S CREDIBILITY THAT WON’T GIVE THEIR ENEMIES ANY LEVERAGE!

    WIH THE CURRENT SITUATION ON THE GROUND, WHO DOESN’T NEED MONEY? MY ADVICE IS USE THIS MONEY AND VOTE EDGAR OUT!

    ON THE ISSUE OF THE POST! ADDRESS YOUR EMPLOYEES! PAY THEM! AND MOVE ON! NOT EACH AND EVERYONE IS LOYAL BUT IF YOU HAVE A LOOPHOLE IN YOUR…

  4. YOUR MANAGEMENT AND THIS IS WHAT WILL CONTINUE TO HAPPEN!

    OUT OF THE 1500 EMPLOYEES, WHAT PERCENTAGE IS EDUCATED? FAR OFF WHAT IS THE POSITION OF MANAGEMENT ON ALL LEVELS INCLUDING THE COMPANY DIRECTORS? WHAT ZRA REALLY AFTER? UNDER WHO’S ORDERS?

    WHY DO OTHER COMPANIES HAVE HIGHER TAX OBLIGATIONS AND ONLY HONOUR THERE EMPLOYEE BENEFITS AFTER THEY HAVE DIED? IS THIS THE BUSINESS CULTURE IN THE COUNTRY? THIS APPLIES TO THE MINES TOO.

    • What a pity your Mmembe and HH are headed for extinction! We have had enough of you murderers it’s high time we sent you where you belong, HELL!

  5. Can the loud-mouthed UPND Leadership and the US Embassy please advise Post Employees how they WILL make good of the NAPSA/ PAYE Money. Its the workers lives at stake here and not Mmembe’s. Whether there was a political hand in this, it is a fact that Mmembe hasnt paid his workers’ NAPSA contributions which he actually deducted from their pays. If Mmembe did pay this why did he halve the workers’ salaries ? Even if Edgar was removed as President, Mmembe would still owe his workers !

  6. Some people don’t think. Try to comment on the public media situation first before rushing to crucify the Post. Thinking is free.

    • Iwe Amano bushe is it true you are amano I think tawakwata amano. Public media draws its cash from the same taxpayers money that’s why you call it public media, how do you expect zra to push znbc to pay when the same money znbc is paying should bail it out. Because ZNBC is going to cry to the treasury for financing when zra pushes it too much. Think amano.

  7. Kambwili warned you chaps. He gave an example of this young woman mmembe used and had to beg her back to a job when she got fired at the post.

  8. Argentina and Barcelona footballer Lionel Messi has been sentenced to 21 months in prison for tax fraud. His father, Jorge Messi, was also given a jail term for defrauding Spain of €4.1m (£3.5m; $4.5m) between 2007 and 2009. They also face millions of euros in fines for using tax havens in Belize and Uruguay to conceal earnings from image rights. However, neither man is expected to serve time in jail. Under the Spanish system, prison terms of under two years can be served under probation. WHO IS MUMEMBE TO……?????!!!!!!

    • Tax fraud is criminal while tax defaulting is not, the latter is mostly as a result of cash flow challenges in normal cases. Messi and his father have been convicted for Tax fraud while the Post’s case is Tax default issue.

  9. Was this a post newspaper employee speaking?or it was a sponsored PF cadre? Because all Post Employees know the story very well through out the years they worked at the Post.And non of those Employees would come out in this way,unless the PF managed to corrupt some bad employees to voice against.What this leads to is that::Recently Frank Bwalya asked all those companies and People that are owed by the POST to come forward so that the Government can help them retrieve their moneys,non came forth,thereafter Lungu suggested his OP staff corrupt some post employees.And these are the results now,next,you will hear that POST Employees are claiming there Tax money,for Lungu to raise the total Post debt.

    • Whether PF-Sponsored or not, MMembe chewed their NAPSA money. What will they retire with if Mmembe is shielded from paying ?

    • These employees should not doubt about NAPSA pension fund because they can easily get a statement of their contributions at nearest NAPSA office. Just a piece advise to every employee, dont wait until you are 55 to find out if your employer sends your contributions. Get statements regularly.

  10. Reading culture in Zambia is pathetic, Napsa has always been advertising that as employees you can easily check if your employer is not remitting your contributions by dialing *677# on your smart phone. Hence you Post employees just check if Mmembe was remitting!

    • Thanks for educating those that do not get statements for their contribution, this is how people should contribute on the block rather than just commenting blindly.

  11. My terrible comments:
    1. When HH is cornered with his four pillars of empty threats, deception, dishonesty and inconsistency, he changes the topic. He never apologises. You will see that he will not make any more comment on Post and Mmembe.
    2. If there is a group of workers in Zambia that gullible, the Post employees will top the list anytime. Even outsiders like us saw through Mmembe, what.more employees who interact with him every minute every day.

  12. ya boss u r right and i habe been telling u that he is a thief ask him where is the money he was liveing a heavy life shaging other peoples wifes and steal money people u r goint the right way ask the bastered where is the money

  13. BBC and LT have just reported that ARGENTINA AND BARCELONA FOOTBALLER LIONEL MESSI HAS BEEN SENTENCED TO 21 MONTHS IN PRISON FOR TAX FRAUD.

    HIS WAS ALSO GIVEN A JAIL TERM FOR DEFRAUDING Spanish GOVERNMENT OF €4.1M (£3.5M; $4.5M) IN TAXES BETWEEN 2007 AND 2009. THEY ALSO FACE MILLIONS OF EUROS IN FINES FOR TAX EVASION.

    MESSI AND HIS FATHER WERE FOUND GUILTY OF TAX FRAUD IN WEDNESDAY’S RULING BY THE COURT IN BARCELONA. AS WELL AS THE JAIL TERMS, MESSI WAS FINED ABOUT €2M (40M) AND HIS FATHER €1.5M (K30M).

    • So what? That is a totally unrelated story… not saying The Post shouldn’t pay, but Messi and The Post are two different things (one is a company in Zambia, the other is an individual playing soccer in Spain).

  14. Let me guess: this story was originally written in Richard Sakala’s newspaper the Daily Nation, right? Anonymous sources… sounds like they had a gathering and a meeting where all of The Post employees complained to the reporter. DUH!

    • It is NO related but VERY similar and any learned lawyer will agree. Messi’s father manipulated tax not as an individual but through their companies. I bet this story from Spain came at a wrong time….

  15. Barcelona’s Messi sentenced to 21 months for tax fraud.
    this is a small issue the diplomats and NGOs will intervene am sure. or may be that’s only possible in Zambia?

  16. Whether our government has a hand in the publication of this report is immaterial because the FACT still remains: workers at the POST have been put on unpaid leave and that Mr Mmembe or the MD has NOT been remitting monies deducted from employees as taxes and for their Retirement annuities for many years.

    I would rather vote for a Chakolwa than voting for the so-called “tender entrepreneurs”.

  17. What I know about tax assessment is that the Zambia Revenue Authority is given powers to assess whether what you are paying is the correct income according to their assessment and not that you owe. The K53 Million is an assessment which anyone can dispute but for arrears you can’t dispute and go to the tax tribunal. This is the position of the post and that is why they have hired a UK tax specialist. Can you hire a tax specialist to come and argue against tax arrears? The answer is no. Only tax assessment. For if this employee is really a Post employee which I doubt has no clue of what he is talking about. As NAPSA there is no need for him to speculate he should just go to NAPSA offices and ask for his statement and it will show whether The Post has paid or not for his contribution. This…

  18. This is the government’s position to put The Post under stress and force them to send their employees on forced leave. Do you think we are going to blame the post for sending the employees on forced leave? Yes you can vote for a chokolwa so that when he is drunk he will send more people on the streets.

    • Ba Ndetila nati, you are equally dull. You seem to be frustrated with issues surrounding UPND and as such you are desperate and shiki polomya ili mupepi. Your Under 5 was beaten a long time, don’t waste space here looking for sympathizers. I just wish there was a strong opposition party to go head to head with PF. Iyi yeve mwaitaya.

  19. Tax assessment is different from owing taxes and tax evasion. The K53 Million is an assessment which anyone can dispute. Tax assessment is subjective. The tax authority simply goes to your offices and determine what tax they deem you should have been paying. This is tax assessment which is subjective and disputable that is why it is supposed to be appealed to the tax tribunal. That is why at first it was 101 million and latter reduced to 53 Million. You don’t reduce tax arrears like that mwe fikopo. When I hear some people saying that they owe this K53 million tax I laugh. We have so many ignorant people who comment on issues they have very little understanding. The issue of the Post is not owing taxes but tax assessment which is disputable.

  20. Dull! Ask Messi he will tell you how taxes accumulate. When you don’t pay. Member should be caged too!

  21. Corrupt elements ;adulterous couples; and all evil people hate the Post because it has exposed their dirty dealings. The Post has done well to digger deeper and inform Zambia about corruption.
    Starting from childbirth to rupiah band who would have let us know of all the corruption.how much has Zambia lost in corrupt deals made by state officials? Money that could be stoking medicines in the hospital ; built schools, universities or pay pension for the aged? It is in billions. Instead the PF cowards are trying to make us believe that the so called 50 million tax assessment by zra has made Zambia poor.
    This is such rubbish.
    As for the so called journalists did they read the post’s editorial policy before they joined the post? Are these really journalists? Where did they get their…

  22. Is the story from Richard Sakalanyongo? Him and Fred Mmembe are the reason why Zambian journalism is dead. Both are politicians who fool people that they are journalists. Journalists don’t sign pacts with political parties to give the politicians good coverage.
    Only propagandists do that. Mmembe signed one with Sata. Sakala has now signed one with Lungu. Zambians please don’t buy these toilet papers masquerading as newspapers

  23. If I needed to hire a project manager to run my multi million dollar business projects, I would not hire Mmemve even if he was he last project manager available. The guy would probably steal your money, insult you, defraud you, steal employees PAYE, Napsa contributions, pension money etc, bank the money meant for tax payments into his personal account. Then he would buy himseld a nice office block and a house. And if you sue him he would ask HH to arrange a protest march with a few pangas, and ask the US to expel your daughters from Harvard University.

  24. NO! PF is suppose to be remetting on behalf of the Post Newspaper. Does it now mean that whatever the mighty 1 Mr economy Fixer says people should support, a wrong is a wrong don’t just support because Hykainde supported the Post think beyond party affiliation….Hykainde is desperate and would need all the goodies from the Post

  25. golden chance for former employees to team up and open their own media outlet that mmembe is a mother buffer

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