CRACKING down on tax evasion should be a goal of any serious government and any law-abiding citizen should avoid indictment by coming clean.
Previous governments have been slow to chase tax evaders exposed by the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA); they have also failed to follow promising leads on some of the biggest fish by pulling punches with the big banks for fear of destabilizing markets.
The previous governments also botched the most prominent prosecution of tax evaders by treating whistle blowers shoddily.
Presently, however, the Government is doing what other officials in previous governments failed to do. That is to collect what is due to the Government in taxes.
Now in the process of confronting people or institutions with cases related to tax evasion, the operations look all the more glaring when set against the alacrity with which some tax evaders evaded this important aspect.
We thus feel the Government’s treatment of the Post Newspaper is not much harsher than its treatment of other institutions that owe money to ZRA.
The Government has been no less forgiving to institutions like Times of Zambia, the Zambia Daily Mail, Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) or any other Government establishment that owes ZRA.
We are thus dismayed when the Post Newspaper, writing in its editorial yesterday, wants to drag us and other Government-owned media in its cry against being asked to pay what it owes the (ZRA).
We innocently ask why we are being dragged into the Post Newspaper fight for the umpteenth time with an opinion writer claiming the Post is far ahead of the Times of Zambia, Zambia Daily Mail and ZNBC in terms of tax compliance or payments?
The writer maliciously wrote that these entities owe the ZRA gigantic amounts that cannot be compared to the peanuts The Post owes. Like sin, there is no big sin and small sin. In the eyes of God, sin is sin, irrespective of size.
It is not a hidden fact that we also have been victims of ZRA and its bailiffs several times, but we have managed to solve our problems on our own without dragging others into our battles.
We wonder why the Post Newspaper should not fight its battles singly like we have done.
The Paper’s sickening penchant to mouth Times of Zambia or Zambia Daily Mail to be targeted whenever they see ZRA officials cannot go unchallenged.
We feel the paper’s juvenile cry for the Government to involve other owing institutions is revolting as the same Paper is abreast with events in Zambia since it reports these proceedings from time to time.
We have never cried for ZRA or any other entity we owe money to involve the Post Newspaper as our good friends have done on several occasions.
They say, people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, meaning people should not criticise others for faults that they have themselves.
As a Paper, we have just covered events as they unfold (professionally and ethically) without being judgmental or rejoicing at the Post Newspaper’s predicament.
It is for this reason that we feel greatly offended when we are dragged into a fight whose genesis we don’t know.
The Bembas say mumbwe aitile mpashi, nokumububa shamububa-a jackal invited ants, which attacked it, meaning a person can unnecessarily attract problems to himself.
Without being petty, we have usually kept quiet whenever our good friends have called on ZRA to target us as well.
We felt our silence could be misconstrued as cowardice by people who hold us in high esteem, thus this innocent defense to clear our name.
To those politicians trying to be saints and defend wrong things, remember whatever you say now condemning (unconstructively) the Government and /or those in power, four fingers are pointing back at you. Some, if not all, of the problems Zambia is facing now emanate somewhere when you were in Government. Some of you cannot even look back at your history, only God knows what type of people you have been.
Zambia is our only Country on planet Earth and we need to guard it jealously by minding what we say and write about ourselves, lest in the multitude of uncontrolled words, we plunge Zambia into chaos.
Remember Syria. Power is from God. Wait for your time, if any.