—It has emerged that Build Trust Zambia, a firm contracted to construct the K285.8 million D769 road, which links Itezhi Tezhi to Lusaka-Mongu road (M9), is allegedly evading paying gravel and sand mining levy to Itezhi Tezhi District Council.
Sand and gravel are some of the sources of revenue for the Itezhi Tezhi District Council and are charged to every individual or institution that gets sand or gravel for construction purposes.
Itezhi Tezhi District Council Secretary, Charles Kabwe, revealed this during a consultative meeting between Itezhi Tezhi district ZCTU officials and ZULAWU, saying so far the road construction firm, which is Zambian company, has not paid about K300, 000 for the sand and gravel it has so far quarried.
“It is a great concern that a respected Zambian firm could evade paying lawful levy to the local authority without any reasonable excuse, Sand and gravel are some of the chief resources,” Mr Kabwe said.
The Council Secretary said through evasion of sand levy by the road construction firm, the local authority was losing the much-needed revenue.
And Itezhi Tezhi District ZCTU official, Ashios Simuntanga, described the behavior of Build Trust to evade paying levy as immoral and has appealed to authorities to ensure that the company complies with by-laws of the local authority.
Mr Simuntanga said that firms doing construction activities have a moral duty to pay all necessary levies imposed by the local authority in areas where they are operating from.
“It is sad that Build Trust can evade the payment of this levy. Every construction firm, including the firm constructing the modern market and bus station, is paying the levy for the sand; even us as individuals we pay this levy for the sand we use to build our houses,” Mr Simuntanga said.
He further promised that his union would meet company officials to establish why the firm was failing to pay the lawful levy to the local authority.