As Zambians demand fair tax rates, a British sugar giant grows fat

From Global development | The Guardian Sat Feb 9 2013, 16:59:02

In a country where malnutrition and poverty are still rife, multinationals remove $2bn a year from the economy through tax avoidance. It's legal - but is it moral? And should the government and UK companies take a stand?

On the main road to the home of Zambia Sugar Plc, a large sign advises visitors: "Welcome to Mazabuka - 4km to the sweetest town in Zambia."

Lying around 100km south-west of Zambia's capital, Lusaka, the town has been described by the chief executive of Zambia Sugar's parent company as an island of "relative prosperity" in a country where malnutrition and poverty are still rife.

George Weston, 48, who earns £918,000 a year plus an annual bonus of £864,000 leading Associated British Foods, is right. Jobs created by Zambia Sugar in and around its Nakambala Sugar plantation in the Mazabuka district are vital to local livelihoods.

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