With the nation’s debt currently at all time high level, Zambia Tax Platform Chairperson Lewis Mwape expects government to exercise prudence in public resource management.
Mwape said during the Zambia Tax Fair Platform in Lusaka that government should demonstrate high level of financial discipline.
“Embezzlement or misapplication of funds makes it difficult for government to achieve set developmental targets resulting to waste of the nation’s scarce resources which can affect tax compliance if the general public cannot trust government with there hard earned money,” he said.
Mwape regretted that there has been increase trend of abuse of public as revealed by the Auditor General report which shows increased irregularities such as misapplication of funds from K28 153 997 in 2015 to K162 095 699 in 2016.
“” It is therefore important that punitive or prosecutorial measures are enforced on perpetrators of these financial scandals,” Mr Mwape who is also Zambia Council for Social Development(ZCSD) Executive Director said.
He said an efficient and effective tax system is important because a country needs sufficient revenue to fund physical and social infrastructure essential to economic and social welfare.
He said taxation also enables a degree of wealth redistribution between the rich and poor to promote equity and fairness within the tax system.
He said a poorly designed, unfair or leaking tax systems is likely to yield economic and social failure.
“Without doubt, Zambia is a country blessed with natural resources, yet its people are amongst the poorest in the world as poverty levels are as high as 54% despolite Zambia being the second largest copper producer on the African continent,”Mr Mwape said.