How Zambia lost US$20 m tax fraud by ZRA, Nedfin and Blue Financial services

How Zambia lost US$20 m tax fraud by ZRA, Nedfin and Blue Financial services

Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 18.07.12 Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 18.10.03 Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 18.12.07 Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 18.12.21 Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 18.12.41 copyThe worst Tax fraud scandal at ZRA has been swept under the corrupt carpet of the PF govt.This involved the loss of almost US$20 million in theinvestigations of a multinational company early last year.
A South African multinational called Blue Finance SA ltd is at the centre of this scandal. It had two subsidiaries in Zambia called Nedfin Ltd and Blue Financial services ltd which were being investigated for tax evasion offences. This loss occurred under PF cadres George Siame and Berlin Msiska’s administration and protected by the PF from possible prosecution for abuse of Authority and abetting money laundering. Evidence reveals that Tax assessments were issued between April and July 2013 and totalled around K99 billion (unrebased), equivalent to US$20 million at the time.
These assessments were unchallenged by these companies, but for some reason ZRA has refused to collect. These were the biggest tax recovery in the ZRA and eclipsed the combined revenue of the entire investigations division collection for the year 2013.
The docket and facts are there at ZRA for examination and State House is aware because O.P. compiled a damaging report that has been ignored by govt. (will challenge both to deny this).
The TARPS collection software at ZRA will also confirm these liabilities. To add salt to injury ZRA management took steps to ensure that the recovered evaded taxes are never collected:
i. They fired the three officers who directly worked this case and helped the country recover US$20 million which has already been shipped to South Africa, Mauritius and Switzerland. They even violated employment rights by ignoring laid down HR policies.
ii. They have further transferred two other officers who had an indirect knowledge of the case, making it impossible for continuation
and eliminating witnesses.
iii. They retired Siame, in national interest, to protect him from possible prosecution and protect Msiska’s job. Msiska knew everything about this case, but did nothing to ensure that Blue Finance SA ltd paid their taxes like everyone else.
iv. They “allegedly” corruptly advised Blue SA ltd to liquidate Nedfin Ltd to escape liability days before the conclusion of the case. The
said officers tried to intercept this process by issuing protective assessments which are meant to protect government revenue in such
circumstances.
But Msiska and Siame prevailed and ensured that revenue was never protected.
The officers took up this scandal with the ZRA board in November 2013, but the board has remained mute to date. The consequence of which the fired officers cannot seek legal action against ZRA because administration procedures have been unreasonably delayed by the board.
The only action the board has done was to recommend Siame’s axing ignoring several violations committed by both Msiska and Siame. This is a board headed by prominent people like Vincent Malambo, BOZ governor, Secretary to the treasury and PS – Ministry of Justice among others.
In some countries a governments have fallen because of such scandals, but in Zambia US$20m is lost, innocent officers are fired and
criminals are protected. We can’t even feel ashamed gallivanting all over the world with a begging bowl when we can’t collect what is
already there. Zambia’s debt stock keeps on worsening by the day and recklessness continues unabated. Where is the logic in rewarding
crooks, who shared bribes, and fire the officers who recovered such a huge amount that could have saved a lot of Zambian lives?
Why is Msiska still in his job when he participated and presided over these economic crimes? Did the board protect him because of his strong links to the Finance Minister or the protection he is giving DPP Mutembo Nchitos’ and associates for the US$5 million they owe ZRA(coming soon)? Or what he knows about the shameful Zambezi Portland saga(coming soon)? Why is Siame a free man when he committed countless crimes apart from this one? So many questions, but the major question is who has power such that O.P., Secretary to the treasury, BOZ, Ministry of Justice and the board can help conceal a US$20m scandal?

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