THE Minister in the office of the Vice President of the Republic of Zambia, Hon. Sylvia Chalikosa has challenged Zambian Engineers and engineering companies to start manufacturing railway wagons to cut down on the importation of vehicles and save the much needed foreign exchange.
Hon. Chalikosa made the challenge on Sunday 3 Septmebr 2017, when Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) Regional General Manager in charge of the Zambia Region, Eng. Kambani Ndhlovu briefed her on the challenges that the railway firm was facing.
The Minister, who is also Mpika Central Member of Parliament, where the TAZARA regional headquarters is situated, said it was about time that local engineering companies invested in the manufacturing of railway wagons where TAZARA and Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) could be sourcing the required vehicles.
Hon Chalikosa said she failed to comprehend why Zambia which had been independent for over 50 years now continued to depend on China to manufacture railway vehicles when the country had a lot of qualified engineers working in various other countries, including China, could not set up engineering companies to manufacture wagons locally.
“Zambia has a lot of skilled engineers that could compete favourably well on the world market, but are not innovative and creative to come up with ideas to set up engineering companies to manufacture wagons
locally,” she said.
The Mpika lawmaker said while she appreciated the tripartite agreements Zambian and Tanzanian governments signed periodically with China on the supply of railway wagons and various railway spares, she felt that Zambian Engineers could look at the possibility of manufacturing wagons so that the country could move away from a consumer orientation.
She said although TAZARA lacked materials to carry out rehabilitation works to wagons, coaches, locomotives and the railway track, her ambition as area member of Parliament was to ensure that the railway firm was taken to the next level by finding companies that could invest in various TAZARA projects that would help the nation to earn more resources for long-term sustainability.
Mr Ndhlovu briefed the Minister about the performance of TAZARA, its troubled longstanding history of underperformance owing to insufficient railway wagons, unreliable and inadequate locomotives and the poor state of the track, which had resulted in the general reduction of train speeds and several other challenges.
The Regional General Manager however assured the Minister that despite the many longstanding challenges and past poor track record, Management had made strong turn-around efforts in the last two years, with a general positive trajectory of business performance now being registered.
Eng. Ndhlovu emphasized that TAZARA had since gone beyond the worst performance of 2015 and with the strategies that were now being implemented, there were very optimistic indications that the Authority would register further improved performance in this year’s budget.
The Regional General Manager appealed to the Zambian Government to help in the liquidation of debts owed by Nyiombo Investments Limited for the transportation of fertilizer that was supplied to the Government some three years ago, so that the Authority could use the money to clear the workers’ outstanding salary arrears.
In response, the Minister promised to take up the matter with the relevant wings of the Zambian Government.
ERB maintains prices for all petroleum products
THE Energy Regulation Board (ERB) has maintained the pump prices of Petrol, Diesel, Jet A-I and Kerosene.
The prices in December 2023 for Petrol, Diesel, Jet A-I and Kerosene will be K29.98 per litre, K29.96per litre, K29.29per litre and K20.44 per litre respectively.
ERB Board chairperson Reynolds Bowa made this announcement this afternoon.
He said the prices have been maintained because the changes in the two key fundamentals that determine domestic prices of fuel, that is, international oil prices and exchange rate of the Kwacha against the United States Dollar, resulted in changes in the domestic fuel prices that were below the set threshold of 2.5 percent.
Mr Bowa said the price of Kerosene has been maintained on account of sufficient national stocks.
“During the period under review, the international oil prices declined. The decline was mainly caused by speculation about projected global oversupply of oil following the re-commencement of exports by Russia. The decline in prices was also caused by the build-up in domestic stocks in United States and China, which slowed down international oil trading and demand.
The benefit of the decline in international oil prices was, however, cancelled by the depreciation of the Kwacha, during the price review period. The average exchange rate depreciated by 6.77%. The depreciation was mainly attributed to sustained excess demand for foreign exchange from sectors such as manufacturing and energy, against constrained supply,” he said.
(Mwebantu, Thursday, 30th November, 2023)
ZRA unearths alleged tax evasion scheme at Spax mining limited in Chingola
THE Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has uncovered a suspected tax evasion scheme involving fraudulent recovery of input Value Added Tax (VAT), underpayment of Mineral Royalty and non-disclosure of income orchestrated by Baba Kabaso Mulenga, the proprietor of Spax Mining Limited in Chingola.
ZRA corporate communications manager Oliver Nzala said the investigation, prompted by recent revelations and credible intelligence, has revealed a series of concerning activities that point towards non-compliance and estimated financial losses for the government of over K8.8 million for VAT fraud.
He said main allegations against Spax Mining Limited and Mr Mulenga relate false VAT inputs.
Mr Nzala said investigations revealed that Spax Mining Limited has, through fraudulent means, been making false claims of Value Added Tax (VAT) inputs.
He said the company allegedly submitted misleading information related to VAT inputs, resulting in an estimated loss of over K8.8 million in tax revenues for the country.
“Furthermore, despite significant mineral operations, Spax Mining Limited has reportedly failed to make substantial mineral royalty payments. The company has no export records to indicate that minerals have been traded or exported from the country, raising concerns about adherence to legal obligations and fair business practices.
The search was aimed at obtaining evidence to prove or disprove the noted allegations against Spax Mining Limited and its directors. The discoveries are pointing towards discrepancies in reported production and actual copper operations. Preliminary findings indicate the possibility of active copper extraction not accurately declared to the ZRA, contrary to the company’s declarations,” he said.
Mr Nzala said the authority has embarked on a rigorous compliance enforcement programme to ensure that correct taxes are accounted for the benefit of all Zambians.
(Mwebantu, Wednesday, 29th November, 2023)
Confucius Institute Recruitment Fair at UNZA: China-Zambia Cooperation Creates New Opportunities
Recently, China National Building Materials (CNBM) Zambia Industrial Park was honoured to participate in the talent fair sponsored by the Confucius Institute of the University of Zambia and co-organized by the Zambia Chinese Association. More than 80 Chinese and Zambian enterprises participated in the event, and thousands of applicants came to look for jobs, becoming a business card of attention in the new era of China-Zambia cooperation.
CNBM Zambia Industrial Park was present at the job fair, aiming to explore and cultivate local potential talents, create more job opportunities, and provide diversified career development paths for local young people. They attached great importance to it, fully taking into account the needs of the enterprise talent reserve, and carry out thorough preparatory work.
At the job fair site, the staff warmly received and patiently answered, not only providing job seekers with detailed corporate information and job recruitment information, but also creating opportunities for them to deeply understand the company and employment opportunities. Thousands of job seekers have also expressed their desire to join this big family and realize the common growth of individuals and enterprises after learning more about CNBM Zambia Industrial Park.