Chikwanda May not be Crooked after all: Scott says Chikwanda has not done anything illegal

Filed under: Statements |

indexVICE-PRESIDENT Guy Scott has said the repayment of Value Added Tax (VAT) owed to the mining companies is within the law and not something Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda wants to cook up.

Dr Scott described the attacks on Mr Chikwanda as unwarranted and that the finance minister was above board on the VAT rule number 18.

“This matter has been discussed here in my office, at ministry of Finance and elsewhere, the payment is not voluntary but within the law, it is nothing that Mr Chikwanda dreamt up and requires change, it is within the law.

“We owe more money to the mining companies in VAT refund and we have to do something about it and not just leave it to accumulate or leave it to our next generation, the money is theirs,” Dr Scott said.

The Vice-President said the question at hand was how the country would pay back the money.

“If Mr Chikwanda did not make a declaration over his ownership in Sigma Enterprise, am sure it was an oversight on his part. I have been a minister before and I owned shares in some farms, in a consultancy company, its normal in this country and I don’t see any fuss about it,” Dr Scott said.

“It is payable unless the law changes it might not be payable, it has accumulated and that all the minister of Finance is talking about,” he said.

He said the issue of ministers owning shares in companies in Zambia was not illegal but that it was something that needed to be declared to relevant authorities.

“If Mr Chikwanda did not make a declaration over his ownership in Sigma Enterprise, am sure it was an oversight on his part. I have been a minister before and I owned shares in some farms, in a consultancy company, its normal in this country and I don’t see any fuss about it,” Dr Scott said.

He said there were no differences between the ministry of Finance and the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) over the repayment of the VAT to mining companies.

“There maybe disagreement about practicality and opinions, but there can’t be disagreement that the money is owed, the way forward in future is to change the law, but the situation is that the money is legally owed,” he said.

He refuted claims there were factions within the Patriotic Front (PF) describing the speculations as not being worthy his comment.

“Just be careful on the source of information, any party in power usually has some funny people, but I will not comment on them until they are named. I am Vice president, my job is to ensure the party wins elections, the job which I am doing very well, we won Mangango and we are going to win in North Western Province,” he said.