Saasa is not qualified economist – says ZRA

Saasa is not qualified economist – says  ZRA

** As Chanda maintains that VAT is bad for Zambia

Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) Commissioner General Kingsley Chanda says he is disappointed by Professor Oliver Saasa’s “petty stance” in his argument on the impact of Value Added Tax (VAT) refund to the economy.

Earlier, Prof Saasa who is Premier Consult managing director said retaining VAT and ditching Sales Tax was “icing on the 2010 national budget” adding that it was irresponsible for Chanda to back sales tax without carefully understanding its implications.
“…the manner in which the ZRA commissioner general was pushing it (sales tax) was in my view irresponsible. I think that we need to reengage the thought process at ZRA to make sure that we do not jump into systems and processes that we have not invested sufficient energies and resources to understand the implications. There was no study, to my knowledge that was undertaken that justified why the Commissioner General of the ZRA maintained the position that he had, especially where information from experts in this field suggests very clearly that there are challenges that need to be understood. And I am very happy that Honourable Minister of Finance [Dr Bwalya Ng’andu indicated that we have to undertake studies to understand it before we can look at it as an option,” said Prof Saasa.
But Chanda in a press statement, Chanda said Prof Saasa is not an economist and does not understand taxation adding that the problem of VAT was genuine and real not only to Zambia but in other developing countries.
“First, Saasa is not an economist and does not understand taxation. The problem of VAT is real and genuine not just in Zambia but in all developing countries with limited value addition.

A comprehensive analysis was done not just by ZRA but even by ministry of Finance. For ZRA our job is to implement government tax policy and we shall do just that. This is a national issue that I don’t expect any human being who pretends to be educated to reduce to a personal attack on me. I am not just disappointed about the so-called Professor but am equally worried about such pettiness,” Chanda stated.

And Chanda added that he was still of the view that Zambia must reform VAT.

“This level of pertinence by hungry and angry people masquerading as Economists is worrying. You cannot reduce a national debate to an individual. I had and I still have valid reasons why Zambia and many if not all similar economies in the world must fundamentally reform VAT. I was a tax consultant for 10 years within and outside Zambia and I know what I am talking about,” stated Chanda.

Professor Oliver S. Saasa,
B.A, M.Sc., PhD.
Rhodes Scholar
Current Position:

Managing Consultant, Premier Consult Limited, Lusaka

Professor of International Economic Relations
former Director (for 12 years) of the Institute of Economic and Social Research, University of Zambia (1988 – 2000)
Office Premises:


Bachelor of Arts, University of Zambia, 1975 – 1979

M.Sc. (International Studies) Southampton University, United Kingdom, 1979 – 1980 Dissertation Title:
The impact of foreign investment on less-developed countries: A select analysis in the context of the New International Economic Order Proposals, with special reference to Zambia, Kenya and Tanzania,

Ph.D. (International Economic Studies), Southampton University, United Kingdom, 1980 – 1983 Thesis Title: The
Control of Transnational Corporations in Developing Countries: A comparative analysis of national poli

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