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ZRA warns Clearing Agents against engaging in industrial action

Filed under: Breaking News,Politics |
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The Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has warned clearing agents not to go ahead with their planned protest set for today, saying they will not tolerate anarchy and illicit political activities in the clearing industry.

The warning comes after Customs Clearing Agents across the country said they will today stage a peaceful protest, which will see their workers halt operations for 48 hours.

They said the strike which is likely to go on until 28th of April 2021, is aimed at protesting against the move by the ZRA introduce a module on the ASYCUDA world system, that gives rights to importers and exporters to lock appointed clearing agents against their tax registration numbers.

However, ZRA Commissioner General, Kingsley Chanda says the authority is not moved by the plan by what he calls one association with the lowest membership and with some members whose licenses have either been suspended or revoked for smuggling are against ZRA automation of their business with importers.

Full statement below:

ZRA STATEMENT ON PLANS BY FEW CLEARING AGENTS TO GO ON STRIKE

Zambia Revenue Authority Commissioner General Kingsley Chanda says his organisation will not succumb to pressure by smugglers and imposters:

“We will not legitimize smuggling. ZRA modernization agenda which started in 2016 is about digitalization and automation of all our manual processes in order to enhance revenue and minimize leakages. Nothing will stand in our way and stop us from collecting legitimate government revenue.

At the moment Zambia has 4 registered clearing associations and only one with the lowest membership is against our efforts to improve tax compliance. The majority are supportive.

Bruce Kaemba who is the ring leader has no clearing company. His company Fedro Cargo was suspended over 7 months ago for alleged involvement in transit fraud and smuggling. So he is basically fighting his own battle and riding on the ignorance of few agents. Those agents who will follow him risk having their licenses revoked.

I have since directed my legal team to start the process of stopping our recognition of this clearing association for disrupting the smooth operations of our borders which is tantamount to economic sabotage.

We will not tolerate anarchy and illicit political activities in the clearing industry.”

Kingsley Chanda.

Commissioner General.

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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31