Kabimba’s Post bailout plan absurd – ex-minister

IT IS not the duty of Zambians to bail out the Post newspaper and it is absurd for Rainbow Party presidential candidate Wynter Kabimba to ask Zambians to contribute towards the settlement of its debts to the Zambia Revenue Authority, former Transport and Communications deputy minister Alfred Njobvu has charged.

Reacting to Mr. Kabimba’s remarks that Zambians must bail out the Post newspaper by helping it pay its debt because it allegedly stood for the interest of ordinary people by exposing the shortcomings of successive Governments to make them accountable for their actions, Mr. Njobvu wondered why Mr. Kabimba himself who allegedly ‘‘has a lot of money’’ cannot bail out his ally’s company.

He said Zambians had no obligation whatsoever to pay for the debt that was accrued by the newspaper which was allegedly making huge profits and that if the paper had gone into insolvency, then the ultimate decision should be to liquidate the company.

“If Mr. Kabimba feels that the Post newspaper needs to be helped out of its debt, then why has he failed to pay that amount of money? We know that he has money which he got from the PF and his funders and so let him bail out his friends rather than asking Zambians to sympathise with tax defaulters because they do not have any obligation to do so.

“If the paper has failed to raise the amount it owes ZRA, let them open up bids so that it can be sold to the highest bidder so that those who have money and are willing to pay debts can take over the running of the paper,” Mr. Njobvu said.

He accused management at the Post of failing to run the paper competently and said there was need for an administrative overhaul if the paper was to thrive.

“The paper has doubled its cover price compared to other papers which means they are making a lot of money and so let them pay their debts because this is a citizen’s obligation since all of us even at individual level we are paying taxes. So let each one of us pay; whether at individual or corporate level because that is our obligation,” he said.

He said there was no need to sympathise with the Post newspaper because the paper was ‘‘stealing from Zambians’’ through tax evasion.

On Monday, Mr. Kabimba said there was need for Zambians to bail out the Post newspaper from its financial quagmire by mobilising resources to pay off the debts the company owed ZRA.