Civil Rights activist Brebner Changala says the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has been caught at cross roads over Airtel Networks K580 million demand notice. Mr. Changala says ZRA should move at Supersonic speed to close Airtel Networks the same speed the revenue authority used to close down the Post Newspapers.
Commenting on a demand notice of K580million from ZRA to Airtel for hiding revenue figures and therefore not paying some taxes for seven years, Mr. Changala in an interview said the ZRA has been given an opportunity to prove that the closure of the Post Newspapers was not political by also closing Airtel. ” Criminality has short legs. Now ZRA is at cross roads. We want to see them move at Supersonic speed to close Airtel for the huge amounts it owes government. Airtel actually committed a criminal offence and the DPP should take interest. Definately they may have falsified some figures for seven years,” he said. Mr. Changala said the debt the Post Newspapers owed ZRA that led to the country’s largest private newspaper to be closed down was a drop in the ocean as compared to what Airtel owes. Last week ZRA sent a demand notice of K580milion to Airtel for unpaid taxes on a number of promotions including Soche for seven years. Airtel was asked to pay within five working days. This is the same Airtel which information Minister Dora Siliya says each individual caller in Zambia using Internet calls should contribute 30ngwee to sustain it’s operations.