The Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has been advised by the Zambia Tax Platform to publish the information contained in the finalized audit of mining companies. This is after the former’s launch of a tax probe following the discovery of a scam accusing one of the big mining companies of tax evasion to the tune of US $7.6Bn.
In May this year, ZRA announced in May that the completion of a full customs audit for all major mining companies in the country. The agency also promised to update the nation on the status of the audit. 2 months down the line, the Zambia Tax Platform has reached out to ZRA with the hope that the agency will keep its word.
The release of the audit, according to the Zambia Tax Platform, will help the country make strides towards combatting negative development vices such as illicit financial flows. It will also serve to enhance domestic resource mobilization. Zambia Tax Platform Chairperson Lewis Mwape said that Zambia has been commercially mining for over 100 years and expectations are that it may carry on for some years to come. This is even as it has continues to make new discoveries leading to further attraction of Foreign Direct Investments into the sector.
Mr. Mwape went on to add that nonetheless, despite having attracted Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in excess of US $13Bn in the mining sector over the last 10 years, these investments are yet to translated into corresponding socio-economic development for the country. As such, local beneficiation from mining proceeds remains but a pipeline dream. This is especially for mine host communities.
He also called out lack of support by the government and other key players in the structural transformation of the mining sector so that it can be linked with the local economy.