ZRA suit excites Saviour

United Progressive People Saviour Chishimba says his party will seize the opportunity to produce heaps of evidence about serious issues going on at the Zambia Revenue Authority in court.

Saviour has since given ZRA officials his secretariat address asking them to deliver the Writ of Summons to his party secretary general on Reedbuck Road in Kabulonga.

Yesterday, ZRA dragged the UPP to court claiming K100 billion for ‘malicious falsehoods’.

But in a statement, Saviour insisted that he had overwhelming evidence against the authority.

“The purported legal proceedings by the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) against the United Progressive People (UPP), if indeed it is true, over our allegations of corruption in the award of the contract to the Chinese Righlux and Inspur by ZRA, is welcome because it accords us a rare opportunity to present before the courts of laws the overwhelming evidence in our possession. We maintain our position and do hereby vehemently submit that ZRA lacks integrity not only over the fiscalisation project in question, but also over the Zambia-Malawi K345 million maize exportation scandal, among other cases before us. We have not even covered 1% of the cases that we have,” Saviour stated.

“UPP seizes this occasion to ask ZRA to state its position over direct or indirect dealings with CilTax Consultants over the years. There is a heap of very serious issues that we shall present before the courts of laws to show how the nation is losing revenues because of corrupt senior officers at ZRA and the political elite who have taken taxpayers for granted for far too long.”

He stated that ZRA Commissioner General had personified the authority.

“It is common knowledge that every organisation, as a legal person, is personified by the people who are leading it. Likewise, ZRA is personified by the Commissioner General, Mr. Kingsley Chanda, and other senior officers. This is the reason why all public officers are required by law to declare the direct or indirect interests that they have in entities that have questionable dealings with public bodies under which they are called to serve,” Saviour stated.

“UPP shall successfully and overwhelmingly prove that ZRA, in its current form, lacks the integrity that the people of Zambia expect it to uphold. Our evidence shows that ZRA was represented in the sitting of an irresponsible committee that cleared Transglobe Limited of Malawi to export 50, 000 tonnes of the 100, 000 tonnes of maize under the K345 million letter of credit which was primarily issued in favour of the Zambia Cooperative Federation (ZCF).”

He asked ZRA to explain to Zambians its involvement in the Malawi maizegate scandal.

“ZRA must explain to the people of Zambia how it was part of the maize exportation scandal without showing how taxes were going to be collected since Transglobe is not registered for tax purposes in Zambia. This is why we shall continue to demand for a tribunal to probe Hon. Dora Siliya so that she can explain how she worked with President Edgar Chagwa Lungu to facilitate corruption. ZRA too, owes Zambians an explanation. We shall not rest until the tribunal is appointed. We are thankful to God that the purported lawsuit is a golden opportunity to prosecute ZRA over its alleged role in the maizegate saga,” stated Saviour.

“ZRA must now prepare to face UPP in court and explain how some questionable corporate entities are used to evade the taxes by way of dubious appeals that culminate in massive reductions of taxes for a select few. ZRA must explain why it failed to perform its legal duty of care to Zambians by not undertaking due diligence before awarding the contract to Righlux and Inspur when all the details on corruption and technical bottlenecks under the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority associated with the same company are within the reach of ZRA.”

Saviour also described that the K100 billion being claimed by ZRA as ill conceived and misguided lawsuit, saying it was almost double the national budget.

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