The Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA), has donated over six thousand litres of cooking oil worth K200, 000 to various charity and health institutions in Southern Province.
ZRA Commissioner – Customs Services Director, Sydney Chibbabbuka says the donation has been made in line with the Commission’s corporate social responsibility policy to deserving institutions.
Mr. Chibbabbuka said the donation which includes 259 cases of 12 by two litres cooking oil translates into 6,216 litres with a market value of K200, 000.
Speaking to Journalists at Livingstone’s Port Office on yesterday, Mr Chibbabbuka explained that the donation was as a result of an importer who tried to smuggle the cooking oil into the country to evade payment of duties and taxes.
Livingstone Central Hospital, Zimba Mission Hospital, Maamba Hospital, Monze and Choma General Hospitals are among the beneficiaries of the donated cooking oil.
Other institutions include Maramba Old People’s Home, SOS Children’s Village Livingstone, Mukasa Minor Seminary, Kwatu Children’s Home, Lushomo Trust Kazungula, Lubasi Orphanage, Ebenezer Orphanage, Faith and Grace, Youth Community Centre Livingstone and Namwianga Mission of Kalomo.
And Mr Chibbabbuka said the cooking oil which was smuggled through the Kazungula Border was intercepted on the Livingstone/Kazungula road between 23 hours and midnight on the 28th of August, 2020.
He said the Commission then seized and forfeited the merchandise, including the truck that was carrying the goods.
Mr. Chibbabbuka said the taxes and duties due on the seized consignment were about K350, 000.
He reiterated that other than just collecting taxes, the Commission had the responsibility to protect industries and promote fair competition which in turn helped to enhance the country’s development.
Mr Chibbabbuka warned importers to desist from smuggling and other forms of tax evasion that deny revenue to the government.
“ZRA will not tolerate any form of smuggling or concealment of goods, as it is our duty to seize and forfeit any goods which have not been duly declared and vessels used in such vices, ” he said.
Mr. Chibbabbuka further said the Commission had stepped up its enforcement activities to curb smuggling and other forms of tax evasion.
And speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Livingstone Central Hospital Medical Superintendent, John Kachimba said it was sad the donation was being made as a result of people doing the wrong thing.
Dr Kachimba said smuggling and tax evasion were detrimental to the country’s development as they affected the vulnerable people in society.
“We represent the same people that tax evaders are depriving; the orphans who need our support; the elderly who need our care and the patients we have the privilege of looking after,” he said.
Dr Kachimba also noted that government had the responsibility to provide certain services and could not manage to do so if citizens did not pay taxes.
“We join the call by ZRA for each and everyone of us to be responsible and pay taxes to ensure government raises the necessary revenues to enable it discharge its responsibilities effectively, ” he said.