ROBINSON KUNDA, Lusaka
THE Football Association of ZambiaÂ (FAZ) has reached an agreement with theÂ Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) to stagger the payment of the K1 million debt the former owes in unsettled statutory obligations.
ZRA swung into action on Thursday afternoon and closed Football House in a bid to recover the money.
FAZ communications manager Nkweto Tembwe said in a statement issued in Lusaka yesterday that the two parties held a meeting in Lusaka yesterday and reached an agreement on how the association will dismantle the debt that has accrued over a period of time.
Tembwe said the associationâ€™s initial debt was about K400, 000 but the amount has accumulated to K1 million because of penalties and interests.
â€œThe Football Association of Zambia and the Zambia Revenue Authority have this morning [yesterday] successfully held a meeting to discuss the way forwardÂ over an unsettled statutory obligation, which led to the tax authority sealing off Football House yesterday [Thursday] afternoon.
â€œIn the meeting, which was held in a cordial atmosphere at Revenue House in Lusaka, the association acknowledged the existence of the amount in question and proposed a â€œtime to payâ€ agreement with the ZRA officers.
â€œAs an association we are glad that the Zambia Revenue Authority hasÂ agreed to our proposal and given guidance within the provisions of the law on the best way to handle and defray the debtÂ which is just above K1 million. Operations at Football House areÂ expected to resume by midday [yesterday],â€ Tembwe said.
The outstanding obligation accrued during a period when ZambiaÂ achieved several successes among them the under -17 womenâ€™s national soccer teamâ€™s qualification for the FIFA Womenâ€™s World Cup in Costa Rica in 2014 and theÂ women senior teamâ€™s maiden appearance at the Africa Championship in Namibia last year.
â€œAll these participations have adversely affected the coffers for the association, especially that these are borne exclusively by FAZ.Â However,Â it is important to note that the decisions to enter all these competitions, have been made to ultimatelyÂ strengthen the senior teams and give the country a firm ground on which to stand among the continentâ€™s football powerhouses. This reality has been achieved,â€ Tembwe said.
And ZRA corporate affairs manager Mumbuna Kufekisa could not comment as he is in Livingstone attending a public relations practitioners conference.