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President Hichilema and tax havens

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President Hakainde Hichilema

By Emmanuel Mwamba

..we have said the sophistication involved in plundering national resources by President Hichilema’s team is unprecedented…

It is not a secret.

President Hakainde Hichilema has stashed most of his wealth in tax havens as reported by various international oversight institutions and investigative journalists such as the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists(ICIJ).

Now Zambia is seeking Diplomatic Relations with tax haven countries Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Republic of Panama and the Saint Vincent and Grenadines.

This is according to a decision made by President Hichilema’s 8th cabinet meeting held on Monday, 6th May 2024 at State House.

This will likely be followed by tax treaties. A DTA (double tax agreement) may require tax to be levied by the country of residence, and be exempt in the country in which it arises.

Despite making money in Zambia, if an investor can prove residence in these tax havens, they may not be required to pay taxes in Zambia as this will amount to double taxation.

In 2017, President Hichilema was identified as one of the 120 politicians across the world that have used tax havens for tax dodging purposes.

The Paradise Papers, numbering 13.4-million leaked documents from Appleby’s offices in Mauritius, have revealed how the rich evaded millions of dollars in tax and kept questionable business decisions under wraps.

Mr Hichilema is said to have become a Director of a Bermuda company known as AfNat Resources Ltd.

Bermuda is a UK island in the North Atlantic Ocean and is widely known as the World’s worst corporate tax heaven with zero personal income tax and corporate tax until 2016.

In March 2006, Mr Hichilema who is listed in the leaked documents as a Zambian corporate executive with interests in mining, finance and other industries resigned in August 2016, according to Appleby’s records.

Appleby is a law firm that claims to be one of the largest providers of offshore legal services.

Mr Hichilema’s AfNat Resources was incorporated in 2005 and explored for nickel and other metals in Zambia and other African countries.

It was listed on London’s alternative investment market until 2010 when it was purchased by Canadian mining company Axmin for about $14 million.

As on April, 14, 2010 AfNat Resources Limited was acquired by Axmin Inc.

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