I am ready to lis­ten, Lungu tells EAZ

Daily Nation Newspaper - - Home News - By AARON CHIYANZO

PRES­I­DENT Edgar Lungu says he is ready to lis­ten to think tanks who go to him with clean hands and no hid­den agen­das. And Eco­nom­ics As­so­ci­a­tion of Zam­bia (EAZ) pres­i­dent says that the pro­posed sales tax, which is re­plac­ing the VAT sys­tem would strengthen the rev­enue base of the coun­try as at­tested by other thriv­ing na­tions which had adopted the sys­tem. Pres­i­dent Lungu ex­pressed hap­pi­ness with the revo­lu­tion­ary ap­proach EAZ had taken of en­gag­ing gov­ern­ment on var­i­ous na­tional is­sues to en­sure eco­nomic growth and sus­tain­abil­ity. The Head of State, who also im­plored EAZ to ex­plain to cit­i­zens on the im­por­tance of pay­ing tax, was speak­ing when EAZ lead­er­ship paid a cour­tesy call on him at State House yes­ter­day. Mr Lungu said that he was ready to lis­ten to peo­ple who had no hid­den agen­das and those who meant well for the na­tion even if they had di­ver­gent views. He how­ever ob­served that peo­ple who spoke well about the na­tion and gave credit where it was due were per­ceived as hav­ing been bought by gov­ern­ment or so­lic­it­ing for a job. “If you por­tray your­self to be some­one who is not se­ri­ous, just talk­ing any­how, no one will take you se­ri­ously. For us, we are ready to talk with those who are gen­uine. Like I re­cently told the church that come and ad­vise us on di­a­logue as the church, not as politi­cians clad in church gowns,” said Pres­i­dent Lungu. Mean­while, Mr Habazooka as­sured that the pro­posed sales tax would not af­fect busi­nesses. The econ­o­mist ad­vised that with proper im­ple­men­ta­tion, sales tax could strengthen na­tional cof­fers. He warned that bad pub­lic­ity about Zam­bia could crush the coun­try’s econ­omy and stake­hold­ers should find am­i­ca­ble ways of en­gag­ing gov­ern­ment other than wash­ing dirty li­nen in pub­lic. Mr Habazooka told the Head of State that the as­so­ci­a­tion had re­solved to build link­ages with gov­ern­ment so that mem­bers could of­fer ad­vise on eco­nomic af­fairs. He said that Zam­bia’s econ­omy had great po­ten­tial, point­ing out that when some coun­tries were in re­ces­sion, Zam­bia was record­ing 4 per­cent growth. Pres­i­dent Lungu also took the economists on a tour of the State House fish ponds, with a plea that they should help spread in­for­ma­tion about the im­por­tance of fish farm­ing.

Pres­i­dent Edgar Chagwa Lungu (cen­tre) shows Eco­nom­ics As­so­ci­a­tion of Zam­bia (EAZ) pres­i­dent Dr. Lu­binda Habazooka (left) the State House fish pond. This was when Dr Habazooka and his del­e­ga­tion called on the Pres­i­dent at State House yes­ter­day. PIC­TURE BY SALIM HENRY/STATE HOUSE ©2018

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