A court in Zambia yesterday prevented authorities from moving to collect more than €1 million in disputed tax obligations from The Post until a higher court sorts the matter out.

The Lusaka High Court granted The Post a limited stay of execution while it appeals the court’s earlier order to pay the amount in a single payment, rather than multiple instalments. The move followed last week’s raid by the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) on The Post seeking immediate payment.

Judge Mwiinde Siavwapa said that not granting the stay “has the potential to lead to the closure of the business”. Without a stay, the judge noted, the money would have to be drawn from the core assets of the newspaper, which would inevitably halt its production.

“This is a prospect which would certainly render the appeal nugatory and academic,” Siavwapa said. “It further would not be in the interest of the respondent and the nation to collect outstanding tax once and for all and render families jobless while an appeal is pending.”

Yesterday’s ruling requires The Post to continue paying its taxes and to fulfil all tax obligations to the ZRA within 90 days after the appeal concludes.

See: IPI concerned by tax authorities’ raid on Zambia’s The Post (Nov. 6, 2015)