Zambian financial scandals worry Oxfam

Oxfam, an organization whose goal is reduce to poverty and inequality and significantly advance rights of women  says when the public financial and procurement are dysfunctional,  high net worth individuals and corporates take advantage of  the porous taxation system to deprive government tax, public resources are lost and it is the poor who pay the price.

The statement made available to the media through the  office of the Oxfam Country Director states that   paradise paper, like the

Panama paper have exposed yet another iniquities of tax haven.

The  statement says Zambia like many other African countries has not been spared the injustice of  tax dodging.

“A media sweep through on broader issues of transparency and accountability in Zambia shows that  mismanagement and corruption are hardwired in the country’s procurement systems. Zambian citizens have heard with frustrations a litany of complaints about tax avoidance by high net worth individuals and corporates. This is in addition to the annual Auditor General revelation of a wasteful and inefficient public service,” reads the statement in part.

It said the malpractices are compounded on lack of accountability on how the country’s meagre  public resources are  used.

“The case in point is the procurement of fire tenders, ambulances and the construction of the Ndola-Lusaka dual carriageway way,” the statement said

It  expressed regret that citizens are also frustrated by the fact that recurrent of scandals fizzle out with little repercussion from the perpetrators.

“Seldom has there been legal consequences for these corporations and politically exposed  individuals within and outside government  who are responsible for mismanagement of the country’s resources,” it said.

The statement  said the inequalities and implications of such a rogue system are widespread and immense.

“These abuses are both are roots of sustainable inequality and an important obstacle to poverty reduction.

” For instance, a staggering 30% of rich African wealth, a total of US$ 500 bn is held  offshore in tax haven. These rich Africans are using the global network of tax haven to hide about $14bn, a year in taxes. At the same time corporation have been estimated to prejudice Zambia $38 bn in lost tax revenues,” the statement read.

“These figures when taken together lost illicitly, dwarf the annual aide flow to Africa. Such revenues losses compound the problem of mounting and unsustainable debt, tightened spending on health, education,” the statement said.

It said: ” the implications this has on the poorest in the society, especially women and children who are left to pick up the pieces on their own are significant.