CTPD calls for political will in the fight against financial crimes

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By ALICE NACHILEMBE
The Centre for Trade Policy and Development (CTPD) has called for strong political will if Zambia is to address the growing problem of Corruption, Tax Evasion and Fraud.

The organization CTPD said in the absence of that, findings from the financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) and the auditor General’s Report will remain as mere academic exercise gobbling tax payers money with no follow up actions.

CTPD Executive Director Isaac Mwaipopo said CTPD remains concerned with the growing trend of illicit financial flows and blatant suspected corruption in the public service as revealed in the latest financial trends report by the FIC released on Friday 31st May 2019.

Mr Mwaipopo said simple arithmetic suggests that between 2017 and 2018, the country has lost an estimated combined total of ZMW 10.6 Billion.

He said the amount is higher than the entire budgetary allocation to the Health Sector and Social Protection combined.

“The K10.6 billion is more than enough to pay the whole ZMW 600 Million owed to University of Zambia-UNZA staff and sort out all the problems at the Copperbelt University-CBU,” he said.

Mr Mwaipopo has urge all law enforcement officers at Zambia Police, Drug Enforcement Commission and Anti-Corruption Commission not to relent in their fight against these crimes.

He said this is critical in that it will also help this country serve resources not only for development but also for paying back public debt.

Mr Mwaipopo said it is becoming clear that the levels of corruption, tax evasion, money laundering and other financial crimes in the country are going up instead of reducing.

He said the latest FIC report just revealed that suspicious transactions reported this year have increased to K6.1 Billion from 4.5 Billion reported in 2018.

“It is evident that almost all that corruption has taken its toll on the country and must be addressed with the urgency that it deserves. The economic implications of these illicit financial crimes is so damaging to countries, it results in many devastating outcomes such tax revenue losses, deprivation of citizen’s access to a decent life as well as underdevelopment. What is even more disappointing being that in the two consecutive reports, it is the Politically Exposed Persons (PEPS) that have been cited as the main culprits in these financial related crimes using conduits such as law and audit firms? He said.

Mr Maipopo said the Zambian government through President Edgar Lungu with the support of all Law enforcement agencies not to take lightly the matters raised in the FIC report.