A Lusaka High Court Judge Isaac Chali has granted the Post Newspapers leave for judicial review against Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) over its decision to refuse to accept a proposal of settling K26.8 million tax liabilities in instalments.
The Post owners stopped paying taxi just after the PF won elections in 2011 but yesterday the chickens came home to roost.
The leave for judicial review will also act as a stay restraining ZRA from seizing Post Newspapers’ properties, which the authority has threatened to undertake.
The Post Newspapers also wants judge Chali, the judge who refused to examine ailing president Michael Sata’s mental and physical fitness, to quash the decision of the commissioner general of ZRA to refuse its proposal to pay its tax liabilities in instalments.
Post newspapers has proposed to pay the principle amount owed to ZRA in six monthly instalments of K2 million payable at the end of September 2014 and the balance of K1.7 million in the month of March 2015.
The owner of the Post M’membe through his Post owes other public bodies such as Development Bank of Zambia, National Airports Corporation more than K30 million (K30 billion old currency). He accumulated these debts during the reign of Levy Mwanawasa whom he was controlling.
The Post also wants the court to issue an order of mandamus to compel ZRA to allow the newspaper to pay its tax liabilities in instalments.
Judge Chali is one of the judges who were ‘appointed’ by M’membe to save him in times such as these. These people include DPP Mutembo Nchito, Speaker Patrick Matibini and others.
Earlier, ZRA officers raided the Post Newspapers offices on Bwinjimfumu road in Lusaka to verify the company’s tax compliance.
Some ZRA officers went into a meeting with management, which lasted from 09:00 hours to about 13:00 hours while others prevented Post Newspapers vehicles from leaving the premises while conducting an inventory.