Zambian Watchdog

Zambezi Portland owes ZRA KR353m, given 7 days ultimatum

Zambezi Portland owes ZRA KR353m, given 7 days ultimatum
January 04
08:02 2013

Police guarding ZPCZAMBEZI Portland Cement owes the Zambia Revenue Authority KR353 million (K353 billion) for various tax offences committed in the past three years.

The ZRA has since served the company with a demand notice for the immediate settlement of the staggering amount.
And the company has been sued by the Leasing Finance Company for alleged failure to settle a loan obligation of US$1.5 million (about KR7.5 million).
Zambezi Portland interim chief executive officer Andrew Kamanga said in a statement yesterday that the payment to the ZRA “must be made within 30 days”.
Mr Kamanga said the tax offences include submission of false returns, false declarations, lack of valid export acquittals, non-payment of taxes on directors’ remuneration and failure to pay mineral royalties.
The offences, Mr Kamanga said, were committed from November 2009 to October 31, 2012 by the previous management.
Zambezi Portland operations director Daniela Ventriglia was deported to Italy by the immigration department for being “a danger to the peace of the country” in November last year.
Mr Kamanga said the company has not prepared audited financial statements in the last five years.
Mr Kamanga said the Leasing Finance Company has sued Zambezi Portland and its former directors for alleged failure to settle a US$1.5 million loan.
He also said the Eastern and Southern Africa Trade and Development Bank (PTA Bank) is owed huge amounts in loans for project financing, which need to be serviced.
“Going forward, ZPCL [Zambezi Portland Cement Limited] recognises its strategic importance to the economic and social development of Zambia and remains committed to satisfying all its obligations.
“While the company’s legal counsel is handing all on-going legal issues, management is determined to maintain and motivate its pool of well-qualified and experienced staff for higher productivity to meet the demands of the local market,” Mr Kamanga said.
He said management is focused on ensuring the company is well-positioned to play its critical role in Zambia’s social and economic development by meeting all its tax and other statutory obligations.
He said the company will strive to satisfy the existing customers and new customers, and that bank accounts have been opened in which customers can deposit money for products they buy from the company.
The company has also suspended export sales until the local market is fully serviced, Mr Kamanga said.
On the labour force, Mr Kamanga said all employees have been maintained except Mwamba Kayula, Gomely Litana and James Litwai whose contracts were terminated on December 24, 2012.
“We appeal to our customers and business partners not to deal with these individuals as they no longer represent the company,” he said.
He also dispelled assertions that the company has not been running smoothly, saying operations have been at full capacity apart from the five days when there were routine maintenance works from December 28, 2012 to January 2, 2013.

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