The PF regime has temporarily withdrawn the water tax it has imposed on fish farmers.
A few days ago, the Watchdog published documents showing that the government has imposed a K3000 water tax on fish farmers.
There was a huge outcry and condemnation Following the publication.
In reaction, government issued a statement purporting to say that only a portion of farmers will be required to pay water tax. According to the statement , only ‘big scale farmers’ will be required to pay this new tax.
But this is a lie from the Paya Farmer government. Government officials have informed the Watchdog that the tax will be implemented across the board just after elections if PF will win.
A source very close to the matter says the term ‘big scale farmer’ is not defined and can mean anything and will be used to demand tax from anyone who has 500 fish in their pond.
The source maintained that the notice was only temporarily withdrawn for the sake of elections but it will come back.
See below denial from government;
NO AQUACULTURE PERMITS FOR SMALL SCALE OR SUBSISTENCE AQUACULTURE OPERATIONS – GOVT CLARIFIES
…. advises citizens to await fresh instructions on the matter
Lusaka……Wednesday, June 16, 2021
Government has clarified that only big scale farmers are required to obtain aquaculture permits to ensure equitable utilization of water resources.
Ministry of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection Permanent Secretary Mabvuto Sakala and Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock Permanent Secretary Dr. Benson Mwenya stressed in a statement they jointly issued that the said requirement does not extend to small scale or subsistence aquaculture operations.
The two Permanent Secretaries said this following a minute issued by Director for Fisheries in the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock which was issued to bring to the attention of officers in the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock the requirement for commercial fish farmers to obtain aquaculture permits for the said cause.
“The Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock and the Ministry of Water Development Sanitation and Environmental Protection under which the Water Resources Management Authority (“WARMA”) falls wishes to clarify the matter relating to the Regulation of the Aquaculture Industry in Zambia following concerns attributed to a minute issued by Director – Fisheries in the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock,” read the statement.
“We wish to inform the general public that the said minute was issued merely to bring to the attention of officers in the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock the requirement for commercial fish farmers to obtain aquaculture permits to ensure equitable utilization of water resources.”
The two Permanent Secretaries explained that from the time of enactment of the Statutory Instrument, permits have only been issued to commercial water users who include commercial fish farmers and these permits are valid for a period of five years as per the provisions of the law.
The said the instruction by the Director of Fisheries is however withdrawn and they have advised the general public to ignore it as fresh instructions will be issued.
“The Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries and the Ministry of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection urges all members of the public to contact any of the WARMA Catchment offices or the Headquarters on +260 211 – 251 934 should they require any further clarification. Further information can also be obtained on the WARMA website www.warma.org.zm.” they said.