PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu says the decision by the Zambia Revenue Authority to take over assets of The Post Newspaper was an independent action to recover tax debt as per the mandate of the authority.
Addressing diplomats at State House this morning, President Lungu said those who feel The Post Newspaper is being victimized should raise money to pay ZRA and that the matter will be cleared overnight.
“This issue of The Post Newspaper was there as far back as 2009. When we came into power in 2011, we found it. Some of you are saying that the timing of the court’s decision is awkward. Tell me when is the right time to do this? You are the same people saying the tax system in Zambia is not efficient, that we are not collecting tax for development projects,” President Lungu said.
“I don’t know where this happens. My own diplomats who are accredited in other countries cannot comment on such matters, if it were in your countries. This is the decision of the Supreme court and jt has nothing to do with me.”
President Lungu said government was cognizant of the various perceptions surrounding the closure of The Post Newspaper and that admittedly perceptions were the order of the day in this field. He however said when you considered the facts on the ground, they were actually different.
“It is however important for our cooperating partners and stakeholders to note that Zambia values the principle of separation of powers between the three arms of government, and is guided by this principle in its interaction,” he said.
And President Lungu said a number of observer missions have accepted Zambia’s invitation to observe the upcoming elections.
He said notable amongst those that have confirmed are the Southern African Development Community Observer Mission (SEOM), the European Union, and the Commonwealth observer mission among others.
President Lungu said government was making important strides and has tried to create a conducive environment for elections.