THE Post Newspapers Limited must be made to account for their political and economic transgressions committed against Zambians, former ambassador to Japan Joe Mwale has charged.
Ambassador Mwale said the Post Newspaper had abused the relationship they had with President Michael Sata and the Patriotic Front (PF) and had robbed poor Zambians through non-remittance of tax.
Ambassador Mwale said time had come for Zambians to demand that the Post Newspaper immediately settles all the debts they owed Zambians and be made accountable for their actions.
The Daily Nation yesterday exposed the Post Newspaper in a scandal in which the media house owes the Zambia Revenue Authority K8 billion (unrebased) in Income Tax, Pay As You Earn (PAYE) and Value Added Tax and the company has since been placed in the category of not compliant with returns, submission and payment.
He said the Post Newspaper had been preaching about serving the majority poor Zambians yet they were busy taking away the little resources through deliberate commissions of economic crimes.
The former envoy observed that the Post Newspaper had continued mourning and weeping the sacking of Wynter Kabimba as Justice Minister and secretary general of the PF because they were sure that had their friend taken over the leadership of the country, all their economic sins were going to be buried permanemtly.
Ambassador Mwale said Zambia was the only country where defaulting business houses could be tolerated to subvert tax obligations because of political patronage.
The former diplomat said it was not surprising that the owner of the Post Newspaper had embarked on a crusade to exonerate its friend Wynter Kabimba before any allegations had been placed on him because they knew what they had done while abusing the space and privileges President Sata had accorded the newspaper.
Ambassador Mwale said the post newspaper had been abusing innocent citizens, branding them crooks, corrupt, criminals, jackals and any other offensive name and yet they were not tax compliant.
“You cannot have people not paying tax because that is the only way government earns money. We have always known that the Post Newspaper was a lawbreaker and successive governments had tolerated them. We are demanding that government through ZRA must immediately and vigorously pursue the Post they are nothing but shameless lawbreakers. They have abused the relationship they had with President Sata and his government and they believed they could commit crimes and get away with it. Time is now for them to atone to their economic and political transgressions,” Ambassador Mwale said.
He explained that the Post Newspaper was claiming that they loved President Sata and yet they were refusing to respect the laws through which he (Sata) was governing the country.
Ambassador Mwale accused the Post Newspaper of having betrayed President Sata for breaching tax laws with impunity and had called on the law enforcement agencies to take interest in the operations of the newspaper company.
And People’s Party president Mike Mulongoti said following the exposé that the Post Newspaper was owing K8 billion (unrebased) debts to ZRA, it was important that should clear the air because silence would be construed otherwise. Mr Mulongoti said the Post Newspaper had attacked a lot of people and institutions over the need to respect laws and that it would be interesting to hear why the newspaper company had accumulated such a staggering amount of debt in taxes.
“If the newspaper does not respond, we shall go for them because silence will in this case mean they are guilty,” Mr Mulongoti said.