Opposition UPND President Hakainde Hichilema has promised to eliminate Borehole and Rental taxes when the party forms government.
Mr. Hichilema said the UPND shall immediately undertake an audit to ascertain which taxes are burdensome and excessive to the citizens when it democratically takes over power in 2021.
He said it is cruel to tax people who are finding alternative ways of accessing clean water for drinking arising from failure by government to meet its civic obligations of which one of them is providing water.
Mr Hichilema said water is life and a human right.
“We have noted with regret that the bankrupt PF regime wants to continue with their misguided policy of taxing citizens for sinking boreholes. As a matter of fact, we are of the view that such community initiatives by citizens are supposed to be rewarded by tax rebates than punitive measures of taxing them,” Mr Hichilema said.
“Furthermore, how can the PF be implementing such measures with the current drought in some parts of the country amidst unpredictable global weather conditions due to the effects of climate change? The fact is that the PF has no capacity to provide citizens with clean water for our citizens and that’s why many communities are currently sharing dirty and unhealthy water with animals, but when they take it upon themselves to access clean water sources by digging boreholes, they are punished. This is retrogressive and kills community initiatives that are critical in complimenting government efforts in areas they fail to serve citizens,” he said.
He added, “Citizens with a bit of resources in these areas should be encouraged to sink more communal boreholes and other water points as opposed to discouraging them and punishing them by burdening them with more taxes. We understand the need to avoid underground water contamination, especially in urban areas, but even then, the role of any serious government would have been to merely offer technical support on where water points can be sunk as opposed to prohibitive measures such as taxing people who are spending colossal amounts of money seeking for a lifesaving commodity like water.”
Mr Hichilema charged that this is just another scheme by the PF regime to abuse citizens by siphoning hard earned money from them and put in their individual pockets to enrich themselves further.
“When the UPND democratically takes over power in 2021, we shall immediately undertake an audit to ascertain which taxes are burdensome and excessive to our citizens. Borehole and rental taxes will be among those that we shall immediately eliminate. Water is life and a human right,” he said.