People accusing Mines of Tax Evasion Should provide Evidence-Chamber of Mines

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Nathan Chishimba
Nathan Chishimba

No evidence that mines are evading tax:Chamber Chief says onus is on critics to prove their allegations

Those who accuse the mining industry of tax evasion and illicit financial flows should present the proof behind their allegations, Chamber of Mines president Nathan Chishimba said today.

“In the absence of evidence, these allegations are both outrageous and unhelpful,” he said. “They are intended to damage the reputation of an industry that is central to our economy.”

Chishimba was reacting to an article in the Lusaka Times (October 1, 2017) by Kalima Nkonde. Nkonde argues that last month’s national budget presentation was flawed because it “does not address tax evasion and illicit financial flows by Mines”. He accuses the mining industry and multinationals of “robbery” and “smiling all the way to the bank”.

Chishimba said: “The article is riddled with speculation presented as fact, and it uncritically recycles claims by third-parties about missing tax revenue that have never been substantiated or verified. Once again, we have a commentator quoting from the Financial Intelligence Centre report, without actually having read it – if he had, his conclusions would be very different.

“We have tried to follow the trail of these allegations to their source, but we cannot find any primary data source that reveals this figure of $3billion – or any other figure for that matter. Furthermore, these are the very same allegations that preceded the regressive mining tax policy changes of 2014-15, and we surely remember how much damage that hiatus caused us.”

Chishimba said the sums being bandied about – running into billions of dollars a year – are so large as to stretch the bounds of credibility. They imply that more than half of Zambia’s annual copper production is somehow unaccounted for.

“We challenge Mr. Nkonde – or anyone else – to produce the evidence of these allegations,” said Chishimba.

He added that the Chamber of Mines was not the only organisation in Zambia to question these constantly recurring allegations, that the mining industry was stealing $3 billion in mineral production every year that doesn’t show up in official statistics.

In an interview with the online mining publication Mining for Zambia earlier this year, the allegations were roundly dismissed both by Mooya Lumamba, Director of Mines at the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources, and Ron Smit, chief consultant on the Mineral Production Monitoring Support Project, a four-year programme funded by the European Union.

“These allegations are wholly untrue, and come from a position of ignorance – not just about how copper is mined and produced, but how our mineral monitoring systems work,” said Lumamba in the interview. “It’s alarmism.”

Smit agreed. “We have noticed that this particular allegation has been recycled in the media for several years now, but no one ever offers any proof.”

44 COMMENTS

  1. +15
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    In Zambia, it seems one can steal and do anything, as long as no evidence is there!
    Shame on you Chamber of Thieves!

    • +3
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      If the allegation of tax evasion by the mines can be proved, that will bring govt. directly on the spot!

      Look, Pius Kasolo through ZCCM-IH is quite happy on behalf of GRZ with their cut of 10 to 20% in all mine operations …

    • +8
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      So to whom shall we present this proof?

      The ACC? or the Police? or to Jonathan?

      You thieves have completely lost the plot.

      Just vacate those offices. Have you even paid back the money that you got paid as MPs while parliament had been dissolved? You are so greedy you can not even pay back that money….how much money is enough?? Why do you have your fingers glued to the till?

      Disgusting and shameless bunch of so n so.

      Enough is enough!!!!

    • +5
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      Even when evidence is available no justice is served in a country fraught with corruption.

    • +12
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      Too much rubbish in Zambia. Ba kateka look at what you started….#ProvideEvidence, #YouSkeemWeFeelingLakka?

    • +2
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      But how do you explain mine companies declaring losses for 13 years?? Is it possible in your honest opinion for a business like a Mine to continue operating on loss for that long a period?

    • +2
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      THIS IS BECOMING A CIRCUS NATION, WHERE IS PARLIAMENT ESPECIALLY THE SELECT COMMITTEES ON ISSUES RAISED, MUZ … CITIZENS ARE ASKING VERY SERIOUS QUESTIONS ABOUT THEIR RESOURCES. YOU CAN’T BE OBSESSED WITH BORROWING OR BIGGING WHEN YOUR “PANTRY” (NATURAL RESOURCES) IS FULL. FOR INSTANCE, DO PRODUCTION FIGURES MATCH WITH ZRA AND EXPORTS. WITH OUT-SOURCING IN PLACE WHO WILL REPRESENT US BY VERIFYING WHAT IS GO ON AT THESE MINES.

    • +2
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      Really laughable…everyone has starting singing Lazy Lungu’s song of providing evidence…this is what poor leadership does!!

    • +3
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      Mr Nathan Chishimba obviously you are biased in that the Chamber of Mines is your employer. Kindly read the report from the NGO Christian Aid on the huge tax avoidance schemes being carried out by the likes of Glencore as well as the unreported declaration of minerals such as platinum, gold, silver etc being exported out of the country in huge amounts in the form of semi processed cathodes.

    • +2
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      It is called TRANSFER PRICING, and Glencore and Vendatta are international and seasoned experts at this evil practice.
      Nathan is the wrong person to talk about evidence. It is called conflict of interests.

  2. +4
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    A WRONG DOER who EFFECTIVELY COVERS HIS TRAIL OF EVIDENCE ALWAYS CHALLENGES ACCUSERS OF EVIDENCE! Go on, ONE DAY YOU WILL BE CAUGHT!! It took one Mugufuli to prove that the Mining companies were stealing from Tanzanians! ONE DAY WE SHALL A GOVERNMENT THAT WILL BE WILLING TO WIN IT FOR ZAMBIANS and THAT WILL BE THE TIME, SO CALLED EVIDENCE WILL NOT BE SO MUCH AN ISSUE AS IT WILL BE CLEAR THE TIME TO PLAY GAMES WILL BE OVER! Sometimes, it is not a matter of evidence BUT A MATTER OF MORALITY ESPECIALLY FOR YOU ZAMBIANS( Mr.Chishimba etal) TO DO RIGHT FOR ZAMBIA!!

  3. vote

    If the allegation of tax evasion by the mines can be proved, that will bring govt. directly on the spot!

    Look, Pius Kasolo through ZCCM-IH is quite happy on behalf of GRZ with their cut of 10 to 20% in all mine operations …

  4. +2
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    What a common and seemingly acceptable norm now where every whistle blower is asked to produce evidence. My question then is what will the investigative wings be doing? Need we remind these people how the FBI acted against FIFA following tip offs?

    • vote

      It is very simple. Mines are not top contributors to ZRA when they are supposed. How dull can one be not to see that?

  5. +5
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    Zambian slogan! Come with evidence. We can’t say anything anymore! Shut minds! That is dangerous for a progressive person.

  6. +7
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    HH Looted And Made himself rich after THE RIVATISATION saga and just like every thief he is too asking for evidence.

    • +5
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      Oval, the problem stems from our culture and attitude towards corruption. We are used to accusing people, more often the ones we don’t like and even our business rivals, of corruption and theft yet we fail to produce evidence. If we channeled our energy into setting up mechanisms and systems that can pinpoint this corruption first, then we will have results. Do you know Zambia’s Geological Survey Department can’t even produce strong evidence if they impounded a truck full of ore because their labs are primitive?? You probably need Alfred Knight to do the tests!! Same with other institutional corruption, our ZP is so primitive, investigations are so shabby it is embarrassing!! WE NEED TO START FROM THE BOTTOM, BRO. NOT OPEN AIR MEDIA COURTS THAT CAN’T PROVE JACK!!!

    • +7
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      TAKE HIM TO COURT OR JUST SHUT UP. OTHERWISE WE CALL YOU A BIG LIER, IT SEEMS YOU HAVE BEEN INSPIRED BY ADOLF HITLER WHO SAID.
      “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.”

  7. vote

    These Chamber of Thieves have no shame getting rich in a country in which the majority of the people are poor.

    They want proof? How able looking at the small share of mining contribution to total tax revenue (less than 10%) and at the share of mining in exports (75%)?

    Look at the financial accounts of the partner mining firms and you will wonder how Zambia even needs a Eurobond.
    read the report of the Global Financial Integrity and you will be ashamed to be Zambian. We need Inspectors Without Borders quickly.

  8. +1
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    Every Jim and Jack is now asking for people to go with evidence for them to act. What retards we have for leaders. Why are we paying you colossal sums? To insult our integrity. Is he saying there is no tax evasion in the mines or he is disputing the figures? Tax evasion whether millions or billions of dollars should not be condoned whatsoever. Its no wonder our mining industry is in shamble because of people like this clown. The maganacata is splashed on the front walls yet these goons turn a blind eye because they are eating while the masses are in abject poverty. Now that the IMF has refused to give 1.3B usd, its about time we tied the noose and account for every ounce of copper that is mined.

  9. +2
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    Evidence of wrong doing is necessary for justice to be achieved. It does not necessarily mean that evidence is easy to provide to law enforcement officers. Quite the contrary. In brief, it depends on the issue at hand. If CCTV is functional, then a case like shoplifting can be easily proven through replay. If the accused was in a different country at the time of the crime, then the passport can also help. However, issue like tax evasion require bravery. The legal profession is for courageous individuals that are prepared to present evidence in open court. Remember Snowden? Among other things, that issue proved that bravery was not cheap.

    • 0
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      Nathan is just being lazy. Both the ZRA and independent audit firms have produced reports that he could have referenced.

      Don’t fall in the trap of Lungu’s default response, “Bring the evidence. ”
      That’s laziness!

      Some among us know how taxes are evaded by multinationals. We can help you find the evidence, which is your duty when an allegation has been made.

  10. +1
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    The evidence thing has just become stupid in Zambian politics, every thief is saying provide evidence. Just know that there is no smoke without fire.

    • +1
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      Simply goes to show the mechanisms to arrest corruption and theft are outdated and ineffective. Chishimba is right, PUT UP OR SHUT UP!!! Everything we get excited over in these media outlets can never stand in court. Waste of time!!!!

  11. +3
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    Very soon some European based organization will come up with facts on how these crimes are carried out. They did this on how Glencore were cheating on copper sales. A Zambian talks before gathering enough evidence therefore alerting the perpetrators who will expertly cover their tracks.

  12. vote

    This business of providing evidence does not make any sense at all to anyone with a sound mind .How can people be asked to provide evidence when the people to be investigated are the ones holding on to evidence? It is like when the ACC asks the people to provide evidence against Kapyongo so that he could be taken to court for buying the fire fighting van at unreasonable price. The people asking should be persuade the Nomad to put individuals suspected of corruption to be suspended so that independent minds can investigate them in their absence. Right now , paper shredders must be working overtime in Kanpyongo’s office destroying evidence required to convict him

  13. +2
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    Next they will say “produce evidence that the ministers illegally got paid salaries and allowances last year after dissolution of parliament”

  14. 0
    -1
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    at least you have avenue for your sorrows on LT. u5 will never rule Zambia. been saying this for decades.

    And Dontcompare him to cobra

    if you want me quit LT press GREEN

  15. +1
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    In the theory of Argumentation Science, there is something called a Stasis point. Basically a position that establishes what is in dispute. I can see that Mr Nathan Chishimba has chosen his stasis point very carefully, and this can only be detected by a professional debater. I read Kalima Nkonde’s article and it is clear that Mr Chishimba has zeroed in on a number that he knows can be proved wrong. But there were other facts which were actually in Former Fin Minster Chikwanda’s budget speech that mines contributed less than 4 %. I think SA ex-president Mbeki also had some evidence about illicit outflows. Mr Chishimba, if he was genuine, wouldn’t have locked this debate in the stasis point he has-produce evidence of $3 billion. evidence of $2 billion will make him walk away feeling…

    • +1
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      ..feeling holy …it is not $3 billion as alleged, he would claim.

      But here is the thing:

      A Thief steals your Shirt and you confront him in public and say, you have stolen my shirt. This is my shirt. And his response: Stasis of location- “Hey, man, this is not the right place to accuse me. If you think I have stolen your shirt, go to police and I will meet you in court.”

      Basically the thief has made the argument about wrong place and he knows he can win that argument. And it is a valid argument. And this is what Mr nathan Chishimba and is group are doing here.

    • +1
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      So the thief has basically turned around the argument. It is not about the fact that he stole your shirt, but rather are you laying the accusation in the right place. Chishimba and co and working hard at now turning the argument around.

      That is my conclusion after analysing both articles

  16. vote

    pipo, to day’s date is 11 October and honestly what type of serious investigation can be carried out and be concluded in 11days?
    truly legal profession is for courageous people

  17. +1
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    @ Chief bootlicker stasis or not, these misfits know that tax evasion is taking place in Zambia how?, by declaring false production figures, as well as transfer pricing, using fronts registered in foreign countries as middle men in the sale of copper. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that there is corruption in government for example? What this moron is disputing is the 3billion usd figure. Surprisingly whether the amount is correct or not,is he denying that there is no tax evasion in the mining Industry? That is the gist of the matter. An intelligent chap opened the Pandora box that these minions have been shielding for far too long. And there reaction is, provide evidence surely? what then is the role of ACC and the police and other government agencies?

  18. vote

    Someone said I talked bad about him. Then I remembered the new found word in Zambia. I just told the fellow to give me EVIDENCE and that was the end of the story. So every one is telling us to give them EVIDENCE.Oh my God.

  19. vote

    This business or mantra of providing evidence does not make any sense at all to anyone with a sound mind .How can people be asked to provide evidence when the people to be investigated are the ones holding on to evidence? It is like when the ACC asks the people to provide evidence against Kapyongo so that he could be taken to court for buying the fire fighting vans at an unreasonable price. The people asking should persuade the Nomad to put individuals suspected of corruption to be suspended so that independent minds can investigate them in their absence. Right now , paper shredders must be working overtime in Kanpyongo’s office destroying evidence required to convict him. Moreover, in Zambia if one reports a senior member of staff or provides evidence against him or her especially…

  20. +1
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    When upnd was exposing Kambwili corruption they even produced evidence eg the golf course plots the villas etc. Who are you to scream about corruption in others minus evidence. Hh made a killing out of privatisation and everyone knows it but since he has told them to provide evidence the case has died a natural death. If you want to arrest suspects without providing evidence start with hh.

    • vote

      You’re wasting your time. These chaps will accept Mumbi Phiri if she ditched PF, oh yeah even Frank Bwalya. It’s a matter of the result justifies the means.

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