The Zambia Revenue Authority has donated various assorted groceries worth over K800,000 to 15 different organisations.
The donated items include 1,344 packets of baby diapers, 7,151 Kilograms (Kg) of Sugar, 6,984 (5 Littre) containers of cooking oil, 2,000 (1 kg) boxes of cremora, 85 cases of coffee and 970 bales of Tingos snacks.
ZRA Corporate Communications Manager Topsy Sikalinda said the donation has been done in line with section 204 of the Customs and Excise Act.
Mr Sikalinda said the authority would ensure that they contribute in looking after the vulnerable in society by donating all seized items.
“15 different organisations have benefited and these are ; Choma Correctional facility, Choma General Hospital, Katombora Reformatory facility, Livingstone Central Correctional facility, Cheshire homes, St Mulumba Special needs school, Livingstone Central Hospital, Zimba Mission Hospital, Ebenezer orphanage, Kwatu Children’s Home, Lushomo trust, St Joseph’s Hospice, SOS Children’s Home, Marambo Old peoples home and Lubasi Orphanage,” he said.
He said the authority has since re-engineered and re-branded the anti-smuggling unit to Inspectorate and Customs Enforcement (ICE) unit.
Mr Sikalinda said the unit will not only focus on customs or smuggling related offences but will also look at the domestic tax evasion.
He said they will focus on all tax types by doing on spot checks, sample buying to check if businesses are issuing receipts and remitting other tax types such as income tax, pay as you earn.
Mr Sikalinda said smuggling and tax evasion is a big threat to economic growth because it creates price distortions, unfair competition and robes the country of the much needed revenue.
He said it is also a serious security risk that must be stopped at any cost.
Mr Sikalinda said the Commissioner General of the Zambia Revenue Authority, Mr Kingsley Chanda, has invested a lot of money in press adverts asking transporters to report all smuggling activities.
“And those transporters that have responded to the appeal by reporting the mismatch between what was on the documents and what was being transported have been released. This is encouraging and we ask everyone to comply,” he said.