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Chishimba faces K100bn charge

THE Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has instituted legal proceedings against the United Progressive Party (UPP) for malicious falsehood and is demanding K100 billion in reputation damages.
ZRA corporate communications manager Topsy Sikalinda said in a statement issued yesterday that the authority has sought legal redress against UPP in connection with malicious statements issued by its leader Saviour Chishimba in March and April this year.
“On  March 31, 2017 and April 4, 2017, UPP president Saviour Chishimba issued statements purporting that ZRA dubiously and by corrupt means awarded a contract for the design, supply, delivery, installation, supervision, configuration, testing and commissioning of an invoice management otherwise known as electronic fiscal devices to  a named company amounting to K140 million,” Mr Sikalinda said.
He said ZRA is an institution with high levels of integrity and careless statements from members of the public have the potential to bring the name of the authority into contempt and disrepute, thereby affecting revenue collection.
“The authority has therefore sought legal redress in the High Court on the matter as of today Wednesday April 5, 2017,” he said.
Last week, ZRA Commissioner General Kingsley Chanda dispelled Dr Chishimba’s allegations as a fabrication.
Mr Chanda said in line with Section 26 of the Public Procurement Act (PPA) No. 12 of 2008, and the Public Procurement Regulations Statutory Instrument No. 63 of 2011, ZRA issued a tender.
The tender was for facilitating procurement of the design, supply, delivery, installation, supervision, configuration, testing and commissioning of an invoice management system in the newspapers for six weeks with a further extension of one week.
He said the closing date for submission of bids was February 3, 2017 and 10 bids were received by closing time.
The bids were subjected to preliminary, technical and commercial evaluation in accordance with the tender evaluation criteria that was provided for in the solicitation documents.
After evaluation, the best bidder was recommended to the ZRA tender committee in accordance with the Public Procurement Act (PPA) No. 12 of 2008 for award.
Mr Chanda said contrary to the incorrect information being circulated by the UPP president, the best evaluated bid value is K84 million and not the alleged K140 million.
He said the contract has not yet been awarded as alleged but that ZRA wrote a notice to all the bidders indicating the best evaluated bidder and the value of the proposed contract in order to allow for any substantive objections.