IT IS immoral for UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema to defend criminality by sympathising with the Post newspaper over its accrued debt simply because his party is desperate for coverage, the Zambia Republican Party (ZRP) has charged.
And the ZRP has lambasted members of the international community pressuring Government to re-open the Post newspaper accusing them of being insincere by promoting criminality which would not be tolerated in their countries.
ZRP president Wright Musoma said it was shocking that Mr. Hichilema, who is aspiring to lead the country, could be at the forefront of defending those who were evading tax while turning a blind eye to the fact that servicing the national budget depended on tax.
Mr. Musoma charged that Mr. Hichilema’s ultimatum was baseless, aimed at attaining cheap political mileage and illogical, adding that his seemingly good relationship with the Post newspaper was due to the coverage he was enjoying which he thought would help him win elections.
He said Zambians must reject people who were defending criminality at the expense of their welfare because Mr. Hichilema’s defence of the Post was purely out of personal gain and total disregard of the implications of tax evasion by the tabloid.
Mr Musoma said if Mr. Hichilema was true to his campaign message that he wanted a better Zambia for all, he would have known that without revenue, Government would not manage to provide services to its people, adding that aligning the operations of the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) to Governmnet interference was illogical.
He said since Mr. Hichilema claimed to be rich, he could save the Post by paying the debt himself rather than issuing out ultimatums which were baseless.
“Let Mr. Hichilema pay the Post debt if he thinks that the paper is being unfairly treated instead of giving Government unnecessary ultimatums because Governmnet has nothing to do with ZRA operations. His association with the Post newspaper today is simply because he wants coverage from the paper and that is why he can risk the lives of Zambians and side with criminals.
“Let him leave Government out of his innuendos. The Post was not closed by Government; the Post closed itself by failing to meet its tax obligation with ZRA and no one should be blamed for that. It is immoral for him to defend criminality in order to suit the status quo,” Mr. Musoma said.
And Mr. Musoma has blasted some members of the international community that were pressuring Governmnet to re-open the Post newspaper for being insincere and promoting criminality which would not be tolerated in their countries.
“Which of them can today tell us that tax evasion is not a crime in their countries? Who are they to tell us who should pay and who should not pay tax? Are they telling us that the Post does not owe Governmnet any money and that the paper is being crippled because it is against Government?
“Zambia is a sovereign State and they cannot tell us how we should be running our affairs. They are being insincere. Let them leave us to run our affairs alone. If they sympathise with the Post, let them pay because without the payment of that money, the Post will not be opened,” he said.