Tax responsibility


Mike Mulongoti is wrong.

Failing to pay taxes is stealing from the Zambian people – it is theft, a criminal offence that must be punished  severely and not glorified by misplaced political opportunism.

That is why the Zambia Revenue Authority  recently punished 28 companies for various offences under the ZRA Act.

Mulongoti must apologize to the Zambian people for the cynical and very deliberate mischief of attempting to defend an indefensible legal and moral wrong committed against the Zambian people.

Failure to remit tax to ZRA while using the money to invest in new business is wrong, immoral and indefensible.

It is selfish opportunism and  wrong for Mulongoti to further his political career by seeking cheap media support and headlines by defending tax malfeasance.

For almost three years the Post Newspaper stopped paying taxes. There is evidence before the courts of law that money meant for taxes was invested in more than $1million worth of farming equipment.

When the ZRA attempted to collect the money recourse was sought in court orders which prevented the authority from fulfilling its rightful duty, on behalf of the Zambian people.

There is also evidence before the courts that salaries were withheld from employees because the company used the money for allegedly attempting to meet tax obligations.

These are not defensible acts. They are a reckless betrayal of good citizenship.

Mulongoti would be better placed asking why for 3 years during the reign of President Michael Sata the Post did not pay taxes. He should ask why money collected by the company on behalf of the taxman was never remitted.

These are the relevant questions Mulongoti should be asking rather than demonizing tax authorities for enforcing the law. There should be no sacred cows in the application and observance of the law. Those who enjoyed and abused political favour must appreciate that all are equal before the law.

As a lawyer Mulongoti should be the first person to understand that the Post Newspaper exercised their right in court   and won temporal reprieve through orders that stopped ZRA from enforcing its rightful duty and authority.

The court has again reversed the restraint and allowed ZRA to perform its constitutional authority against an errant institution that chooses to conduct itself with absolute impunity and arrogance.

The rule of law is the legal principle that law should govern a nation, as opposed to being governed by arbitrary decisions of individual government officials. The rule of law is a system in which the following four universal principles are upheld: The government and its officials and agents as well as individuals and private entities are accountable under the law.

In essence The Rule of Law, in its most basic form, is the principle that no one is above the law, not even a newspaper that Mulongoti wishes to win favours from is above the law. If anything those who seek to lead must do so by example, by being scrupulous in their conduct and paying their taxes on time.

Categorized | Editorial

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