Finance minister was bribed to retain vat – Habaazoka

Finance minister was bribed to retain vat – Habaazoka

Economics Association of Zambia President Lubinda Habaazoka says finance minister Bwalya Ng’andu was bribed by experts to discard the Sales Tax and retain the VAT system in the proposed 2020 budget.

In his lamentations after his demands were rejected by Ng’andu, Habaazoka said that some experts were paid huge sums of money to organize and lobby for the retention of Value Added Tax in the 2020 national budget.

The Russian trained economist said Zambia has again lost out to mining houses whom he claim bribed the minister of Finance.

He said with VAT refund arrears in the excess of $600 million, the only people smiling their way to the bank are “Consultants” that were handsomely paid to de-campaign GST.

“The Zambian has lost a chance to fix the problem with companies using fake VAT refunds as working capital. The Zambian government has indeed a huge tax ahead to fund public expenditure and also provide working capital to companies through the so called VAT refunds,” Dr Habaazoka said.

“Ordinary citizens meanwhile shall continue paying high taxes with no hope of reduction as mine owners and their hired guns celebrate yet another victory.”

He added, “This time, citizens can’t blame government on the GST decision because its pressure from citizens and the opposition forces themselves after being convinced by paid consultants that also led to this.”

“As you breathe in center in Mufulira don’t forget that air in Switzerland is very clean and that investments in the health sector, education sector and other sectors is booming because of your minerals. All this is your own making with your destructive debates.”

“The past week I have been tagged in posts about the retention of VAT with people celebrating and shaming me and others that supported GST. This year I witnessed a lot of workshops sponsored by the private sector lobbying for VAT. “Experts” were paid huge sums of money to organize and lobby for VAT.”

He said, “In the beginning, we expressed concern over the rate of GST and GRZ succumbed and put it about 5%. To citizens that are celebrating, find time to sit down with BOZ, ZRA and learn about the huge irregular VAT refunds. Sit down and look at the benefits of having a mining industry. It’s not that we own the mines or the country alone. It’s co-owned by everyone.”

Habaazoka, who has degenerated the economic Association of Zambia into a joke, said with a faulty consumption tax system, Zambia can kiss good bye to lower pay as you earn adding that workers shall forever pay the highest taxes because workers have no capital allowances, no deductions on household expenditure or VAT refunds.

“When you laugh at others, you laugh at yourselves because business funded your own citizens put push a strong voice against GST and eventually mislead you. Just notice how certain consultants were so emotional and hardly fought GST but these people don’t even own a single company.”

“We are very good at failing our own country. It’s not that we were going to be exempted from paying GST. I have been to India and the USA this year and I haven’t seen any cascading effect in their economies.”

He added, “Every time you see copper trucks going out, just know that you continue being milked. These guys all of a sudden have low grade copper and don’t even want to talk about cobalt. When we speak for you, you call us all sorts of names. Don’t come back to us when your mines are dry for more ways of diversifying the economy. You have missed your chance now.”

Habaazoka charged that the rescinding of GST decision is because of citizens pressure and pressure from businesses.

“When your tax authority tells you that something is wrong and you opt to think you are more knowledgeable, something is very wrong. Sit down with us people who are in economic advocacy. We shall show you how lobbying in Zambia is very much advanced. The first bribe given to Zambians is given to intellectuals in form of consultancy. After chewing consultancy money, the voice from the consultant will go flat out in support of certain interests. Indeed it Business 10 – Zambia 0.”

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  • comment-avatar
    Muwerewere 2 weeks ago

    Bwana Habazoka, you have a point on GST but it was a non starter because everything was being done in a hurry. I remember taking part in sensitization of VAT, it was strange but later everyone embraced it. Refund system was messed up by ministry of finance due to pressure on the treasury. On the issue of bribing the minister and consultants, that is not right and its just bitterness because Lubinda wanted to take credit had GST proposal gone through. Let us debate issues without pointing dirty fingers at others. With the kind of mindset by Lubinda Habazoka,EAZ is headed into the theory wilderness. EAZ should be seen to be offering creditable advice to PF grz on economic matters. After organizing the economic forum in Livingstone I thought EAZ was on top of things. I am beginning to doubt if the recent economic forum was an original brain child of Lubinda and company at EAZ was just copy and paste ideas from outer space or inner Siberia.

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      Mweemba 2 weeks ago

      I couldn’t agree with you more. I hold the view Habazoka is a Naive, self-centred and rather one who believes he knows it all. I question all his Russian Economics. GST was so hurried and so was the abolition of VAT. Perhaps the bribed one was Mwanakatwe for wanting to abolish VAT. Habazoka lost the battle and is bitter. He shouldn’t label the Finance minister corrupt. VAT must stay well beyond 2020.

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    Hambai Muntali 2 weeks ago

    people are now eating snake. what can we say

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    The Watchman 2 weeks ago

    Mr Minister of finance,
    I have been a follower of your financial acumen for quite awhile now but am now getting worried with your support of s tax regime that you have absolutely no control over. Just a reminder , it’s said that ‘ he who has the power has absolute control’ and in your case with this VAT raze plan, trust me you have absolutely no control and end result is that those masses on the lower bracket you have absolute control over with regards to taxe payments shall continue to be emacited because of the heavy load on them. Rehoboam son of Solomon made a similar error with regards to taxing people. The end of that Biblical story is that the nation ended up being divided and that’s how rehoboam remained with two tribes out of twelve. His colleague Jeroboam broke off with the other tribes. So Mr Finance minister, begin to have empathy for this country. Don’t allow these conglomerate entities get the better side of your judgements. Finally may I ask and I require a response, how do you hope to have absolute control of the VAT sales tax whose doors are so wide open for manipulation?????

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    The Watchman 2 weeks ago

    You have a point except that bribery line. VAT as it obtains is so full of holes for manipulation. The real winner isn’t the economy of Zambia but someone else. I don’t have to be an economist specialized in taxes to know this simple truth. Just take a close look at how VAT works… compared to GST! Who really has control? Ministry of Finance or someone else? Let’s be serious for once. 

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    Zambia has enough mining experts and other professionals in this field. This nonsense of taxes etc can be mitigated by running the mines ourselves. Fifty years of independence and our major GDP is largely in the hands of foreign corporations. What does it take to run the mines? At independence, we went into a frenzy of excitement and treated ZCCM as a cash-cow. We never re-invested in the mining industry and ended up selling the industry for peanuts. Our fault! We enjoyed the welfare state and now we are paying for it. You the educated fools should be thinking about starting over and do things differently. What lessons have you learnt from independence and the mines? Obviously, nothing. Our policies are inconsistent, the so called economists are playing academic sojo’ and in the process the majority suffer. Zambia needs to own 70-80% of the mines and foreign companies should own the rest. Let us borrow to invest in our mining industry. The 20% for foreign shareholders should be enough to cater of the skills we don’t have. Lubinda, while you may have a point, you are inconsistent with your pronouncements most of the time. With or without sales tax, vat etc, mining companies have the corporate responsibility to look after the environment they operate in. Therefore, your point is invalid with regards to poisonous gases. It is the environmental protection policy that should ensure this does not happen. But, corrupt individuals collaborate with mining companies and they look away at the expense of the masses in mining towns for 30 pieces of silver. If the Minister of finance was bribed, how the hell would you know? You have just highlighted the corrupt culture involving noise makers like you! So tell us then, who bribed you to sing the sales tax song. Country first we should put. We have enough educated and capable people. Time to look inwards. We can run the mines ourselves. Talk is cheap and you need to tame tongue.

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      Nyambe the Hero 2 weeks ago

      Habazooka has other motives. He is not a patriot hence the inconsistencies.

      He really wants the Finance Minister job and he thinks trashing Bwalya Ng’andu and making noise will score points. If he was smart Habooka should be talking to Rupiah.

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    Tolilo 2 weeks ago

    Lubinda Habaazoka has a point.We are our worst enemies.5% GST given our population & resources will propel us to a ‘first world’ status by 2030!!