ZRA shocker!

Sat, 04 Mar 2017 10:41:06 +0000

ONLY eight out 512 Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) properties are on title, the Public Accounts Committee heard yesterday.

And Members of Parliament were shocked after learning that properties worth over K200 million belonging to ZRA had no title deeds, yet the institution has been in existence for 23 years now.

The Lands Act No. 29 of 1995 requires that institutions or individuals owning land should possess title deeds as proof of ownership but the auditors observed that during the year
under review, the authority had 512 properties whose value could not be ascertained which had not title deeds.

Opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) Solwezi West Member of Parliament Teddy Kasonso demanded for an explanation from the Commissioner General Kingsley Chanda as to why ZRA had no title deeds despite the institution being 23 years old.

“DG your Authority was established in 1994 to date it is 23 years, why has it taken so long to ensure that your properties are on title?” Mr Kasonso asked.

And Committee chairman Howard Kunda, who is Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) Muchinga Member of Parliament, said the matter was of serious concern to the Members of Parliament. Mr Kunda said it was unacceptable for a government institution like ZRA not to have title deeds for over 500 of its properties.

Making a submission on behalf of ZRA, permanent secretary in charge of economic management and finance Mukuli Chikuba told the committee that the Authority had not obtained title deed certificates for its properties because the Ministry of Lands had not yet issued the title for most of the properties applied for.

Mr Chikuba said the authority currently had an ongoing exercise to acquire title deed for all its properties countrywide.

“Relevant authorities have been engaged so as to assist in expediting the process of acquiring the title deeds,” he said.

Mr Chikuba also presented that contrary to the Auditor General’s findings that ZRA had 324 properties which were on title as opposed to 512, comprising both residential and commercial properties. He said only eight properties were on title.

But Lukashya independent Member of Parliament Mwenya Munkonge, and his Senga Hill counterpart Kapembwa Simbao expressed concern over the variation on the number of ZRA properties submitted by the Authority and the Auditor General’s report.

Mr Simbao and Mr Munkonge questioned ZRA for not reconciling the number of properties when the auditors were doing their job.

However, the chairman (Mr Kunda) directed that ZRA and the office of the Auditor General should reconcile the number of properties which were not on title and submit on Monday to the office of the clerk.

BY OSCAR MALIPENGA

ONLY eight out 512 Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) properties are on title, the Public Accounts Committee heard yesterday.

And Members of Parliament were shocked after learning that properties worth over K200 million belonging to ZRA had no title deeds, yet the institution has been in existence for 23 years now.

The Lands Act No. 29 of 1995 requires that institutions or individuals owning land should possess title deeds as proof of ownership but the auditors observed that during the year
under review, the authority had 512 properties whose value could not be ascertained which had not title deeds.

Opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) Solwezi West Member of Parliament Teddy Kasonso demanded for an explanation from the Commissioner General Kingsley Chanda as to why ZRA had no title deeds despite the institution being 23 years old.

“DG your Authority was established in 1994 to date it is 23 years, why has it taken so long to ensure that your properties are on title?” Mr Kasonso asked.

And Committee chairman Howard Kunda, who is Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) Muchinga Member of Parliament, said the matter was of serious concern to the Members of Parliament. Mr Kunda said it was unacceptable for a government institution like ZRA not to have title deeds for over 500 of its properties.

Making a submission on behalf of ZRA, permanent secretary in charge of economic management and finance Mukuli Chikuba told the committee that the Authority had not obtained title deed certificates for its properties because the Ministry of Lands had not yet issued the title for most of the properties applied for.

Mr Chikuba said the authority currently had an ongoing exercise to acquire title deed for all its properties countrywide.

“Relevant authorities have been engaged so as to assist in expediting the process of acquiring the title deeds,” he said.

Mr Chikuba also presented that contrary to the Auditor General’s findings that ZRA had 324 properties which were on title as opposed to 512, comprising both residential and commercial properties. He said only eight properties were on title.

But Lukashya independent Member of Parliament Mwenya Munkonge, and his Senga Hill counterpart Kapembwa Simbao expressed concern over the variation on the number of ZRA properties submitted by the Authority and the Auditor General’s report.

Mr Simbao and Mr Munkonge questioned ZRA for not reconciling the number of properties when the auditors were doing their job.

However, the chairman (Mr Kunda) directed that ZRA and the office of the Auditor General should reconcile the number of properties which were not on title and submit on Monday to the office of the clerk.

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