THE Post newspaper should desist from dragging the Patriotic Front (PF) into its financial indebtedness because the ruling party does not interfere with the operations of the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA), Chief Government Spokesperson Chishimba Kambwili has charged.
Reacting to the newspaper’s assertions that ZRA’s move to pounce on the organisation for failure to remit taxes was politically motivated, Mr. Kambwili advised the newspaper to pay what it owed ZRA and stop blaming government over its shortcomings.
He said there was no aota of truth in the papers allegations as ZRA was mandated to collect revenue on behalf of Government and to deal with defaulters in accordance with the law.
Mr Kambwili said self-pity would not save the owners of the paper because they would not receive special treatment for failing to meet their obligations.
“Let them just pay what they owe ZRA and stop accusing Government of having a hand in their problems because no institution will be given any special treatment simply because of who they are. Ubufi ba Post nabuchila mo and they know that they are lying as usual.
“Why do they want to bring government into their problems which they created for themselves for failing to meet their obligation? We don’t direct ZRA to carry out their duties because that institution has professionals who know what they are doing,” Mr. Kambwili said.
He explained that the paper should desist from making unnecessary excuses and pay what they owed.
Mr Kambwili wondered why the Post was expecting to be treated with kid gloves when it was not the first institution that was pounced on by ZRA for defaulting.
“How special are they? Why didn’t the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) complain that government was behind the raid of their offices not long ago over the same? Just because it is Post then government should be blamed? Let them be serious and stop being petty. Let them just pay the money they are owing to ZRA and stop complaining about government interference. How do they expect to be left Scot-free when they are not paying? Let them stop lying and face the reality because their lies won’t help them,” he said.
And ZRA has said that claims by the Post Newspaper that they are being fixed by the institution are not true because ZRA collects tax on behalf of Government and that the Post Newspaper was not the only company affected, but that a lot of other institutions have been pursued.
ZRA Spokesperson Mumbuna Kufekisa said that the Post newspaper was aware about the matter as his office under the legal department had been engaging the company on late payments of penalties and interest accrued from the previous amount demanded. Mr Kufekisa explained that the Post Newspapers Limited had been given 10 days to reconcile its tax accounts with those of ZRA.
He advised the Post Newspapers Limited to visit his organization if they felt the need to dispute the amount given other than claiming that the action was aimed at ‘fixing’ it.
On Friday, the Post Newspaper was served with two warrants of Distress demanding payment of over K16 million in taxes and tax arrears.
The first notice served was a Warrant of Distress of K6, 954,911.75 in taxes and K9, 969,483.29 in Pay As You Earn (PAYEE) and tax arrears in a second warrant of distress with a demand for these payments in full with immediate effect.