Non-Governmental Organizations’ Coordinating Council (NGOCC) Executive Director Engwase Mwale has urged Zambian economists and financial experts to provide direction to national debate regarding the matter of offshore accounts and investing in tax havens.
In a statement Today, Mrs. Mwale said advancing unsubstantiated personal attacks on those championing social justice will not help the country to develop in all fronts.
And Mrs. Mwale has categorically condemned personal attacks against Actionaid Zambia Country Director Nalucha Ziba by some media outlets over the organizations’ advocacy work on tax justice and public finance accountability.
She said Actionaid Zambia has over the years remained an independent, non-partisan and objective institution that has worked towards a just and poverty free Zambia.
The NGOCC Executive Director further expressed displeasure that those demanding accountability and justice in Zambia are unfairly attacked and ridiculed by persons that hold partisan interests.
“Additionally, we also note the concerns raised by the Finance Minister regarding serious accountability challenges raised in the 2016 Auditor General’s Report which call for immediate action to be taken by law enforcement agencies to bring the culprits to book”
“Evidence also shows that the world is losing substantial resources meant for basic service delivery and pro-poor development projects through Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs)”
“It is undisputable that any identified tax avoidance tactics by high net-worth individuals, public officers and corporate bodies through profit externalization robs the country of the much needed resources for socio-economic initiatives thereby jeopardizing efforts towards sustainable development. These are serious matters that should transcend individualistic intimidatory tendencies”
“Over the years NGOCC has remained concerned with the porous investment policies which in many instances do not address the vulnerabilities of ordinary citizens especially women and children”
“We have further noted that even the much talked about Foreign Direct Investments do not result in improved financing to the social sectors such as health, education and social security which have a multiplier effect on the most marginalized in society” Mrs. Mwale said
Meanwhile, Mrs. Mwale revealed that Non-Governmental Organizations’ Coordinating Council (NGOCC) has joined Actionaid Zambia, Oxfam and others in calling upon all citizens and corporate bodies to reflect upon and address the tax compliance issues in a more holistic manner.
She said the public finance accountability challenges that Zambia is facing calls for magnanimity among all citizens to take responsibility and contribute to this discourse.
“We have one country and must resolve to collectively raise legitimate questions regarding public accountability without unwarranted attacks” Mrs. Mwale said