By BUSINESS REPORTER
THE Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) will ensure efficiency and transparency in its mandate to collect and manage taxes for the country, Commissioner-General Kingsley Chanda has said.
Mr Chanda said ZRA would continue to simplify the tax system as one way of eliminating corruption.
He said this in Lusaka yesterday during the launched a Whistle Blower Policy and the 2018 Integrity Month both meant to promote transparency and fairness during service delivery. The two are meant to uphold integrity and eliminate corruption among the ZRA staff during service delivery.
Mr Chanda observed that corruption happened when the tax process was complicated.
The Whistle Blower Policy, he explained, would provide avenues for any person within the authority to report corruption allegations.
He however cautioned that the policy was not meant for malice purposes.
“This policy assures persons who disclose information relating to fraud, corruption and/or any other malpractice to be protected from any form of reprisal,” he said.
Mr Chanda said ZRA would not allow corruption to derail success recorded so far.
He disclosed that ZRA was no longer among top institutions that the public perceived to be demanding bribes by the recently published Zambia Bribe Payers Index.
He said this followed various reform initiatives put in place by the authority.
Mr Chanda also said ZRA had set aside September as the month of integrity for members of staff.
He explained that the objectives of the exercise was to promote efficient service delivery which was fair and transparent while reminding taxpayers of their obligations of paying taxes and not through bribery.
Mr Chanda emphasised that lack of integrity undermined the confidence and trust of the taxpayers, which in the long run affected the compliance levels.
“We further understand and acknowledge that lack of integrity costs time, money, undermines service delivery and weekend the credibility of institutions to its clients,” he said. At the same function, 2018 integrity month chairperson Moses Shuko said the period was meant to eliminate corruption within the authority.
Mr Shuko, who is also commissioner for domestic taxes, said the integrity month was meant to enhance integrity among the ZRA workers.
“Taxes are important for civilisation and our desire is to make them simple and fair for everyone to participate,” he said.