ZRA DONATES SEIZED CHAIRS, UPS ANTI-SMUGGLING WAR
Written by Millennium on August 26, 2019
NOEL IYOMBWA writes
THE Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has donated 1,300 plastic chairs to 15 institutions in Southern Province.
ZRA Commissioner General, Kingsley Chanda, said another 1, 805 chairs have been transported to Lusaka for possible donation to other identified charitable organisations in the province.
Mr Chanda said the chairs were seized in August 2017 after an attempt by the importer to under declare their value.
“These chairs were seized in August 2017 after an attempt by the importer to under declare them. Out of more than 5,000 chairs, the importer only declared about 2,000 chairs resulting in the seizure of the undeclared 3, 170,” he said.
Mr Chanda said that the seizure underscored ZRA’s relentless efforts to curtail all forms of tax invasion.
The chairs were donated to Choma Correctional Facility, Choma General Hospital, Kazungula District Council, Ebenezer Orphanage and Kazungula Catholic Church.
The other recipients were Livingstone’s Libala SDA Church, Katombola Reformatory, Livingstone General Hospital, Bread of Life Church, Maramba Old People’s Home and the St Joseph Hospice.
Mr Chanda also announced that the Authority had adopted the use of high tech in the fight against smuggling.
He said the Authority had started deploying drones to survey prominent areas used for smuggling in the country adding that Kazungula was one of them.
Mr Chanda further said that ZRA has also started installing CCTV surveillance cameras at all major boarder entry points.
“This donation is made in accordance with section 203 and section 204 of the Customs and Exercise Act, Cap 322 of the Laws of Zambia,” he said.
And Finance Minister Bwalya Ngandu said smuggling was one of the vices that affected resource mobilization and could threaten the future if left unchecked.
Dr Ngandu said it is was gratifying to note that ZRA was ever alert and adopting sophisticated technology, such as the use of drones and surveillance cameras, to curtail the vice.
The Minister said his ministry will ensure that ZRA is given the necessary support to operate effectively, such as in budgetary allocation and legislation.
“My ministry will also ensure that the punishment for tax evasion practices, such as smuggling, is stiffened so that it is controlled,” he said.
“This will include increase in penalties for tax evasion practices as well as an option of imprisonment for tax offenders,” Dr Ngandu said.