New cit­i­zens urged to pay tax

Lesotho Times - - News - Pas­cali­nah Kabi

SIX­TEEN im­mi­grants from around the world yes­ter­day took the oath of al­le­giance to be­come le­sotho cit­i­zens at the Min­istry of Home Af­fairs of­fices in Maseru.

ad­dress­ing the new cit­i­zens, who con­sisted of three chil­dren and 13 adults from Ghana, ivory Coast, Pales­tine, Bangladesh, in­dia, Kenya, Nige­ria and the Peo­ple’s Re­pub­lic of China, Home af­fairs Min­is­ter lekhetho Rakuoane said they should abide by the coun­try’s le­gal re­quire­ments to be­come bona fide res­i­dents.

ad­vo­cate Rakuoane said cit­i­zen­ship did not ex­empt the im­mi­grants from pay­ing their obli­ga­tions to the tax­man.

“Be ad­vised that as cit­i­zens of this coun­try, you will be re­quired by law to faith­fully pay your taxes,” he said.

“as the Home af­fairs min­is­ter, i will not tol­er­ate tax in­come eva­sion, i will not al­low you to stay in this coun­try if you fail to pay in­come tax and un­der­es­ti­mate its im­por­tance.”

the min­is­ter said pay­ing in­come tax should be a moral obli­ga­tion for ev­ery Mosotho work­ing and earn­ing a salary, adding that his main area of in­ter­est was not com­pa­nies but in­di­vid­u­als.

“i don’t ex­pect you to hide be­hind compa- nies. Just pay what is due to the state,” he said.

ad­vo­cate Rakuoane urged the new cit­i­zens to share their skills with Ba­sotho and at­tract in­vestors from their na­tive coun­tries to help de­velop the coun­try.

the min­is­ter also said they would soon be is­sued with nat­u­ral­iza­tion cer­tifi­cates.

“there is still a prob­lem with the is­suance of nat­u­ral­iza­tion cer­tifi­cates, but I have urged the rel­e­vant of­fi­cials to sort this prob­lem out and end the per­cep­tion that peo­ple must pay bribes to get nat­u­ral­i­sa­tion cer­tifi­cates,” ad­vo­cate Rakuoane added.

one of the new cit­i­zens, Mobashahr Has­san (46) who is orig­i­nally from Bangladesh, told the Le­sotho Times on the side­lines of the cer­e­mony that he came to le­sotho in De­cem­ber 2004 “look­ing for a peace­ful coun­try”.

“i am orig­i­nally from Bangladesh and came to le­sotho look­ing for a peace­ful coun­try. le­sotho is now my home, and this is a happy day for me since my wife and three chil­dren also be­came le­sotho cit­i­zens,” Dr Has­san said.

“Since my ar­rival in this coun­try, i have been play­ing my part in as­sist­ing the less for­tu­nate by us­ing my ex­per­tise as a med­i­cal doc­tor to treat peo­ple with var­i­ous ail­ments in the ru­ral ar­eas dur­ing my free time.”

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