Zambia loses US$230m in taxes
Lusaka – Zambia may have lost more than US$230 million in revenues from the extractive industry following reports that Africa’s biggest copper producer did not get was due to it in various taxes. According to the Zambia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, the country lost more than US$230 million in non-refundable value added tax, import VAT, customs and import duty, and corporate tax from 13 companies in 2008 alone. The report, the first ever by the ZEITI, cites the companies as nickel miner Albidon Limited and Chambishi, Chibuluma, Kagem, Kansanshi and Konkola copper mines. Others are Lafarge Cement, Lumwana Copper Mine, Maamba Collieries Limited and Mopani Copper Mine, Ndola Lime Company, China Non-Ferrous Africa and Sino Leach. The government recently launched an audit to establish the discrepancies after it was found that there were anomalies in the figures claimed to have been paid as taxes. ZEITI, whose objective is to disclose what mining companies pay and what government receives as revenue, uses global standards to promote transparency and accountability in the oil, gas and mining sectors. The initiative is spearheaded by a 15-member multi-stakeholder group, the ZEITI council and five representatives from government, civil society organizations and mining companies. Last year, Mines Minister Maxwell Mwale expressed displeasure at tax anomalies in extractive industries and asked for a probe.