FRED M’membe should blame himself entirely for causing the closure of The Post newspaper because for many years he has arrogantly neglected to honour his tax obligations, thereby defrauding Zambians of millions of Kwacha in taxes, Chishimba Kambwili has said.
Mr Kambwili, the Information and Broadcasting Services Minister, said Mr M’membe must not blame Government or even politicise the closure of The Post newspaper but should instead repent from his ways of abusing the goodwill of the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) that had given him several opportunities to settle his tax debt which he deliberately ignored.
Mr Kambwili said there were revenue authorities everywhere in the world and their mandate was to ensure that revenue was collected on behalf of Government and ZRA had the full mandate to have taken the action of closing The Post newspaper because it had failed to pay its taxes.
Mr Kambwili said the battle between The Post newspaper and ZRA over non-payment of taxes was not new and that Mr M’membe had chosen to procrastinate the settling of his taxes by running to the courts to challenge the bills.
He said Mr M’membe had over the years been arrogantly daring ZRA over what he owed the authority and the closure of The Post newspaper could have been avoided had its proprietor been a law abiding citizen.
“Mr M’membe should blame himself for causing the closure of The Post newspaper because for many years, he has been breaching tax laws in this country. Government has nothing to do with the closure of The Post newspaper and Mr M’membe should not cry foul or even accuse the State of orchestrating the closure of his newspaper because he has been daring ZRA for many years with arrogance. It is the duty of ZRA to collect taxes on behalf of Government and if the authority fails, then Government would not be able to implement many of its policies that would benefit citizens,” Mr Kambwili said.
Mr Kambwili said Mr M’membe was accusing Government of having shut his newspaper because he was scared of the many financial transgressions he had committed against Zambians.