• The Association has received responses from its members to boycott the License application process.
• This is in protest over long standing unresolved issues in the public passenger transport sector.
• Bus and Tax Owners Operators have demanded the resolution of grievances.
Bus and Taxi Owners Association of Zambia says Operators have resolved to boycott the application process for 2023 long term Road Service Licences (RSLs) for public passenger transporters.
Association National Spokesperson Amis Daudi told Money FM News that the Association has received responses from its members to boycott the License application process in protest over long standing unresolved issues in the public passenger transport sector.
Mr. Daudi said this follows the publication of the notice to public passenger transport operators on the commencement of applications for long term Road Service Licences (RSL) for 2023.
He stated that the Bus and Tax Owners Operators have since demanded the resolution of grievances which include failure by law enforcement wings, to stop piracy or unlicensed operators.
“While the Association welcomes the use of technology, the failure by Government to regulate online ride hailing operators has worsened the uneven playing field for business in the public passenger transport sector, as the vehicles being used are private owned and unregistered as public service vehicles without RSLs,” Mr. Daudi said.
Mr. Daudi also stressed the need for Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) to detach the ZRA presumptive tax clearance certificate requirement from the process of application for Road Service Licenses because unlicensed operators are allowed to freely operate without any tax obligations.
“Failure by ZRA to collect Presumptive tax from bus and taxi operators on a daily basis. This tax was ideally introduced as a daily levy, collected as and when a transport vehicle operates, but instead ZRA has imposed a computed cumulative three-months’ figure irrespective of the business activities prevailing on the ground.”
“Failure by ZRA and Ministry of Finance and National Planning to implement the Presidential directive of abolishing the law on Presumptive tax for the period November 2015 to May 2016 leading to an accumulation of huge tax arrears by bus and taxi operators. The continued demand by ZRA for payment of tax for that period has made it difficult for most operators who have now opted to operate outside the legal bracket because RTSA demands tax compliance before issuing the Road Service Licenses,” he added.
He further explained that despite the Association having held two meetings with representatives of Government units on 11th and 24th November 2022, no tangible results have come out.
Mr. Daudi said the members have since resolved to continue the boycott of application for road service licenses for 2023 until their grievances are attended to by respective Government wings.
“However, when the No. 1 and No. 2 of these demands are met, operators will resume applying for RSL and obtain identity certificates on an on-going basis, throughout the year as provided in the Road Traffic Amendment Act No 8 of 2022, otherwise it will be an unfair application of the law when only one group of citizens are made to comply while others are let to operate outside the law in the same country and without any consequences. The BTOAZ remains committed to the promotion and delivery of a safer, convenient and efficient public passenger transport service.
I thank you,” Mr. Daudi stated.