Paradise Papers Hakainde Hichilema Exposé: My Comments

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Peter Sinkamba
Peter Sinkamba

By Peter Sinkamba

The leak this week of paradise papers has exposed complex ways how wealthy people and corporations have legally generated and protected their wealth through off-shore havens.

The leak has documented how the world’s biggest businesses, heads of state and global figures in politics, entertainment and sport have sheltered their wealth in 19 secretive tax havens.

A 2006 off-shore investment for my colleague Hakainde Hichilema was among that was captured in the leaks.

The revelation appears to have generated great controversy in the country.

Like has done most figures across the world, HH has defended himself that the investment is legal.

I totally agree with him on the legality of the investments, but I think that argument is beside the point for the Zambian case. The apartheid system, for example, was a perfectly legal system. However, that does not make the system right for the victims of the apartheid system. What is legal is not always right.

Therefore, in my view, HH ought to have given better reasons. And indeed, there are more examples, and better reasons, to make a case for off-shore investment by Zambia and Zambian business corporations.

For example, prior to privatization in 2000, ZCCM Ltd was a partnership which was majority-owned by the Government of the Republic of Zambia with a 60.3% shares being state-owned. Other shareholders of ZCCM Ltd were Zambia Copper Investments Ltd (ZCI), an associate company of Anglo American Plc, which held 27.3% of shares, with the balance of 12.4% of shares held by private investors.

ZCI and other private investors that owned ZCCM Ltd, were registered in Bermuda and Cyprus, some of the most popular off-shore investments destinations.

GRZ was in partnership with Bermuda and Cyprus registered companies from 1970 when it nationalized Nchanga Consolidated Copper Mines (NCCM) and Roan Consolidated Mines (RCM).

Even after privatization, GRZ has been in business with private investors registered in off-shore destinations, not only in the mining but banking sector as well. For example, GRZ invests most treasury bills in companies registered in off-shore havens. The motive for GRZ before privatization and after was, and remains, to attract foreign capital into the country.

Put simply, therefore, it is not wrong to invest in off-shore havens if the motive is to attract capital from those havens into the country.

What is wrong is where the motive of investment into those havens is to hide stolen funds from the country; to evade or avoid tax; to launder inappropriately acquired wealth; and several other motives that deprive the State or nationals what is lawfully due to them.

Perhaps, instead of focusing on the legality of the investment, my colleague would better have demonstrated how he used the off-shore investment to attract foreign capital; how he invested it locally to grow his business empire to what it is; and how without it, he could not have been as wealthy.

He could have been even figurative about it, because as they say: “figures don’t lie!”

Otherwise in my view, with proper explanations backed by empirical evidence, there really ought not to be any fuss about it.

64 COMMENTS

    • And those that listened to HH on Radio Phoenix will agree that he said the money he generated offshore has been invested in his ranching business contributing positively to the country’s nutritional needs and also creating employment. Sinkamba may not have heard this but his his analysis is spot on. I am going for my ka-Dobo!

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    • Ganjaman, there is only smoke in your article and basically nonsense.
      What have you to the table in this topic? That Zccm had dealings with companies who had offshore accounts? Puff once more on that roll!
      Do you know hat through your USD account at any bank in zed today you can transact and daily transfer money to your offshore personay account?
      NOTHING ILLEGAL Ganjaman.
      Get informed.

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    • Sinkamba simply it again.
      Apartheid was a legal system, but evil.
      Offshore trading is dirty.
      Marijuana trading is dirty business.
      I prefer money laundering than medical marijuana laundering, even on local market.

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    • Zambia needs to think beyond PF and UPND. Both parties are rotten to the core, one corrupt, the other arrogant and tribalist.

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    • Well said Mr Sinkamba Sir! Very soon I will be joining the Green Party Officially! Only the Green Party has a true vision for mother Zambia! Why should Zambians continue to suffer in this very wealthy land? The answer is not UPND to resolve those problems how can they when 99percent of them are recycled politicians who only want to steal more than what the PF ministers are doing!

      Vote Green Party 2021! Vote Peter Sinkamba the man who cares for all Zambians!

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    • Hakainde has no strategy…whoever he pays for his public relations is stealing his money if he has one!!

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    • It is not a question of legality, it is one of morality. We the poor must all rise and condemn this evil.

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    • HH has shown every well meaning Zambian that you can invest your money and raise capital to come back and invest in your country, that is real patriotism.

      What sinkamba should be telling the nation is how he is going to raise money for the country through his chamba business, by the way does he have even a simple chamba demonstration farm?

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    • @umutwe wa kalilo, where is your morality, when you don’t pay 10% tax on property you renting out? Where is your morality when you a using Facebook, which has also been mentioned in paradise, for you to post your immoral comment. Have seen carlos slim, George soros in those papers too, the works they have done, am sure you have also benefited in some way.

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    • THIS IS ONE OF THE VERY FEW ANALYSIS FROM PETER SINKAMBA WHICH IS TO THE POINT AND MAKES A LOT OF SENSE. BUT EVEN THEN WHAT SINKAMBA HAS EXPLAINED SHOULDN’T TAKE THE LEAKED PAPERS TO INFORM THE PEOPLE WHY OFF-SHORE OPTION WAS TAKEN. UNLESS ONES MOTIVES WERE AS EVIL AS THE REPERCUSSIONS OF DENYING CITIZENS THEIR LIVELYHOOD THROUGH TAX EVASION. BESIDES, HH, IS AN ASPIRANT OF THE PRESIDENT OF ZAMBIA AND ON MANY AN OCASSION HH HAS BEEN ASK TO ACCOUNT FOR HIS WEALTH BUT TO NO AVAIL. SO, EVEN HIS ACCOUNT ON WHICH RADIO WAS JUST, “UBUSHIKU BWALUBO MUKOTE, ELO ICIMBWI CINYEMFWI”.

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  1. If you agree that it is a Legal investment, then what is your point, Mr. Sinkamba? A person is obligated to explain himself only when his actions are questionable. You are making an insinuation that he might have invested the money he made from offshore accounts back in the country. But that’s here say. It’s neither here or there. As a matter of fact, you can be sued for that. Sometimes it’s better to keep quiet.

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    • Sikamba’s argument is very flawed. For example, if HH said that there is nothing illegal about not recognizing ECL, would you compare that to apartheid? How does apartheid come into the argument when you know that people sometimes invest offshore because they don’t trust their governments? A government that can arrest you for 4 months for not giving way to an over-speeding president can finish you financially.

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    • Constitution of Zambia
      Part III
      Protection of the Fundamental Rights and Freedoms of the Individual
      Art. 11. [Fundamental rights and freedoms] It is recognised and declared that every person in Zambia has been and shall continue to be entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed, sex or marital status, but subject to the limitations contained in this Part, to each and all of the following, namely:
      (a) …
      (b) …
      (c) …
      (d) protection for the privacy of his home and other property…
      and the provisions of this Part shall have effect for the purpose of affording protection to those
      rights and freedoms subject to such limitations designed to ensure that the…

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  2. I said it yesterday and its worthy repeating today and tomorrow if need be that you stand the only political
    outside the circle of the instruments of power bearers who speak sense . Abashala kuwayawaya fye. Lishamo sana.

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  3. iam waiting for dundumwezi comments. kindly post constructive comments and please do not go off this nice topic as if you have just been punched by Steven Suckur.

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    • Kindly refrain from using language which belongs to the supporters of Plunderers Federation and theirs Endemically Corrupt Leader.

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  4. Study the papers well. I wonder if people have reaken an interest to ready and really understand the Paradise Papers? Go through the papers mwe bantu.
    A common Zambian suffers while big companies and the rich always get away with it. Now the TPIN is being pushed down people’s hard earned peanuts so that whether u like it or not there is a tax deduction on your earnings. The efforts to reduce tax avoidance would be good initiatives if both the common man and the elite were treated fairly. With such things as these tax havens, a common will always suffer and the rich will always get away with it.
    Well Come to the world

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  5. I have read the so-called Paradise papers on HH. I’ve also read countless opinions and analyses both for and against HH, including from the man himself. Being a polarised society ours has become, I’m afraid all the opinions being advanced from both sides are disappointingly hollow and full of hogwash. Those aligned with PF want to use it for political gain, HH supporters on the other hand are telling us how smart he is to invest in such a scheme. This whole episode must be confusing for our colleagues who never went to school

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    • And you DO NEED to learn ENGLISH to understand that there is Constitution and the Acts of Parliament. That is to say, RULE OF LAW. If something is NOT PRESCRIBED, THEN IS LEGAL.

      Otherwise, not even “rocket scientist” (LOL) will be able to distinguish between Legal and Illegal.

      Are you now going back to school? Or you are as usual sticking to the logic of brain-washed uneducated “cadreism”?

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    • You do need to go to school to understand “Tax Avoidance” unless you can find these words in any of our 73 dialects? If Zambians understood these two words, including the ones who claim to be highly educated then Zambia would have never been in such a mess in the first place.

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  6. Why should rich people avoid tax and common ones to be forced to pay through TPIN? we want to close the gap between the poor and the rich people but if the rich are avoiding to pay tax and the poor are paying tax how are we going to close that gap? i see sense in Mr Sikamba’s words and i like his manifesto and quick reactions to national isues.

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  7. avoiding tax isn’t just morally wrong but a sin too. the Bible tells us to give Ceazer what belongs to him. unless you are not a Christian but a masonist.

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    • Is tax originally African or an introduction imposed on us by first the colonialists and religious bodies?Most problems of Africa can be solved when Africans go back to their history and be originaters of their own working systems.

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  8. The only beauty here is Zambians don’t read so those papers are safe even in the leaked state. If we agree that there are no illegalities about those investments then no one owes anybody any form of explanation!

    Our focus should be on the current plunder in the name of Fire Tenders, Ambulances, Lusaka-Ndola Duals, and irregular payments revealed in the AG report and many more wrongs under Chagwa! Once we are done with that, we can summon HH for questioning!

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  9. @11 Half Zambian, that will not wash unless you think that we are all daft like you. After much research, I for one have no issues with fire tenders, ambulances, Lusaka-Ndola dual carriageway. As for the Auditor-General’s report, and being a civil servant myself, you may be interested to know that some of the most notable culprits are actually u.pn.donkeys.
    The big issue for me is how under5 can sit at the moral high table poking fun at innocent people when he himself has a lot of explanations to make: product of tribalism, no respect for internal democracy and internal human rights, dictatorial tendencies, self centredness (very apt description by the Englishman, Stephen Sackur), empty or dead petition, etc and now the paradise papers.

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    • You are Civil Servant? That explain plunder of tax revenue. You little creep. Involved actively in politics? Defending Plunderers Federation and worshiping theirs Endemically Corrupt Leader? Which type of Civil Servant you are? The one mentioned by Auditor General? Or the one who instead of SERVING THE PEOPLE is SERVING HIS MASTERS?
      What type of MORAL IMMORALITY you are SERVING?

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  10. I think the theme gathered so far from the paradise papers is tax avoidance. Whether or not HH and the like have invested their monies offshore in good faith, the truth is, he has avoided paying Ceaser (GRZ) what belongs to him!!!. This practice is synonymous among the rich and it is therefore incumbent upon GRZ to review and make amendments where possible regarding offshore investments at corporate and individual level.
    The legality of offshore investments has its own demerits and the rich always capitalise on it at the expense of the poor majority.I therefore I agree Sinkamba’s point of view that though its legal, offshore investment can disadvantage the lawfully beneficiaries of the country.

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    • There is ABSOLUTELY NO EVIDENCE THAT he has “avoided” paying Caesar (GRZ) as the “Caesar” has abdicated his role in taxation of profits generated by Zambian Citizens in Mauritius by signing and ratifying treaty on double taxation.

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    • @ 13.1 138

      It is very important to avoid the very appearance of evil. Were I to find you sleeping in a hospital bed, the assumption would have to be that you are sick.

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  11. I need you to tell the world whether your lawyer Gilbert Phiri invested the proceeds of crime from the sale of my Jeep Grand Cheorkee which he stole from me…As for HH, what is he doing with Gilbert Phiri who stole my Jeep Grand Cherokee and household goods worth $210,000 in one day? How about my out door furniture and other belongings and another vehicle which cost me into another $100,000? Is he failing to separate himself from such Lawyer because of the Off shore accounts? Did they invest the criminal proceeds from stealing my luxuries in such investments or did they use them to fund their campaigns. Let hear what the paradise papers are all about.

    Whilst I would rather save my money and invest outside Zambia after having been pillaged in abuse of state machinery and the justice…

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  12. An explanation was given but the anti HH pretend not to have heard or read. You invest offshore to raise more capital to reinvest back home and create more emplyment opportunities. Investing at home renders your company unprofitable. While taxes may be collected they end looted by corrupt politicians while the commoners wallow in abject poverty. Well done HH for exploring this opportunity.

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    • You hide money in offshore accounts to avoid paying taxes on them. Period. Why do you think these are called “leaks”.

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    • @ 16 Wiseone

      No explanation can wash away a mountain. This is a story yet to be told, a story of a selfish rich Zambian.

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  13. Whilst economies are intertwined,systems can be designed to suit societies,communities and nations.The origin of our tax system is from the colonial masters and foreign religions whose manuscripts demand some ceasar has to be given what belongs to him.Now political in-dependance remains meaningless without economic control for he who has economic power has political control.When attaining political “independance”we should have incorporated African ideas of dealing with our economies.Taxation was there before colonialism but how fairly excuted was it?Unfortunately we embressed all things western and threw out the window most things that define us.The educated and those who were in corridors of power began to behave and still behave like the “evil” coloniser they just overtook…

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    • Spot on, you managed to capture one of Africa’s biggest plagues in your statement. We as Africans need to rediscover our identity and focus on our own destiny. Intelligence is not about how many degrees one has acquired, but about how one applies their knowledge and skill for the betterment of others.

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  14. If I had a way I was not going to pay PAYE thus money is being stolen by of .nut dies nit pay to pay tax in zambia, there is no motivation for doing that

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  15. I think investing in these havens is legal and there shouldn’t be a fuss. For me it is about how Sammy got so rich to start using these tax havens. Eg.if you ask me about the late BY Mwila and how he got rich, everyone knows he created companies that supplied all sorts of things to ZCCM and GRZ, and i am talking about BIG contracts. So if I hear BY has offshore investments, it wouldn’t surprise me. But how did hh work his way up to afford offshore investments??? As Sinkamba has put it: a proper explanation and empirical evidence will calm everyone’s nerves!!

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  16. Let him move to the same country were he is hiding his money he will be appreciated more.Zambia needs people who have its intrest at heart.Please sir denounce your citizenship so we can move on as a nation.

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  17. “What is wrong is where the motive of investment into those havens is to hide stolen funds from the country; to evade or avoid tax; to launder inappropriately acquired wealth; and several other motives that deprive the State or nationals what is lawfully due to them.” This is the bone of contention. These “Tax havens” so called have created a membrane that shields the clandestine use of such funds for various hidden activities eg. these are the portals used by powerful states to channel funds to fund wars to advance their own selfish and shameful interests. Our African masons are deeply entangled in these “flawed” systems that it is very difficult to come out.

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  18. “What is wrong is where the motive of investment into those havens is to hide stolen funds from the country; to evade or avoid tax; to launder inappropriately acquired wealth; and several other ”

    The issue about hh is what ps has said of hiding stolen money not tax avoidance. Hh wanted to hide stolen funds from privatisation saga period.

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  19. The panama papers are linked to Satanism. The money is shared under water. They don’t drink coffee when sharing the money. They drink blood. They drink salty water under the see. Why do you think UPDN insists on red colours? It’s blood. Pure Human Blood.
    Be careful Zambians. The writing is on the wall.

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  20. I have always said that your HH is a crook, and one of those responsible for the suffering we are going through now as a country! How do you certsinly entrust a crook with top most position in the country! He has no interest of Zambia at heart if he can evaid tax!

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    • Now we can all see what you’ve been trying to tell us all along. I now concur. Finally, you have won me over.

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    • In matters of morality, law is not the standard. Morality calls for a higher standard than legality. In view of these revelations, how can HH now go to Kanyama for a political rally?

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  21. Am happy to have read this article indeed what hh does not have the capacity to realize is that the donchi kubeba electorate that ushered MCS into power has moved on they have been forced to begin to scrutinize innuendoes or indeed anything shaddy about ones past for them to trust you with the state purse. So whether you brought the money back if it was soooo legal HH why didn’t keep it in those safe places. And lastly to President Sinkamba your allusion to apartheid being legal apply the same to you ‘selling’ green officially the rest of the world will shun you

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  22. There is nothing African and non African when it comes to stealing or laundering money .
    The world continues to change with time it doesn’t stay at the same level it evolves with time .

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    • How I wish I could figure out what you are trying to tell the rest of us, particularly those of us not smart enough to read in between lines!

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  23. Well said Ñzelu what can HH say to the many people affected by his greed either directly or indirectly.May God raise a leader who will be committed to the suffering masses of the people of Zambia.

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  24. SOLDIERS KILL PEOPLE THEY SAY ITS LEGAL……LAWYERS DEFEND KNOWN CRIMINALS THEY SAY ITS LEGAL…….HH raised money to invest in jobs and nutrition someone says its wrong ……Ba sinkamba tell me something are you raising any money from outside……

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