Malawi jails will be full of tax convicts –MP Harry Mkandawire

MP for Mzimba West (Peoples Party) Harry Mkandawire has expressed fears that Malawi jails would be full of tax convicts if the proposed penalties for businesses which evade remitting Value Added Tax (VAT) are going to be followed to the letter.

Mkandawire:  Tax worry

Mkandawire: Tax worry

Malawians would be punished for ignorance of some of the amendments to the VAT Act, according to VAT Amendment Bill which Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe tabled on Tuesday.

The bill aims to improve efficiency in the administration of VAT and clarify the tax requirement by restricting issuance of tax invoice to an Electronic Fiscal Device (EFD) while adjusting penalties for VAT evaders.

Traders who don’t use the EFD would be penalised to pay K500 000 and then K1 million and imprisonment for two years upon conviction.

Mkandawire said the punishement was “too harsh” and also said many would be languishing in the already overcrowded jails if the imprisonment for contravention of VAT laws punishment will be followed to the letter.

Salima Central MP Felix Jumbe (Malawi Congress Party-MCP) also argued that most Malawians in rural areas were illiterate and did not realise the implication of accepting goods without a receipt.

“We cannot afford to penalise these Malawians with K500 000. We do not want this, it is a colonialist mentality,” said Jumbe.

Minister of Justice Samuel Tembenu defended s the penalties as justified , saying there is an option for a fine and imprisonment, “ the judiciary is at liberty to choose one.”

The Bill was passed with one amendment to Section 46 (E)1 after a proposal from Dedza North West MP Alekeni Menyani (MCP) to to protect the unsuspecting buyer.

The amendment reads: “A person who, after purchasing goods or services fails to demand and retain a fiscal receipt or fails to report refusal by a user to issue a receipt, would be liable to a penalty of three times the tax payable.”


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We are in problems not the same country we used to call the warm heart of Africa. We should wait more is coming.

Okhuzidwa mtamba

Mufa muona

Blessings khonje

Vomelezani kuti b6a lavuta bambo before it comes to worse.

john walker

Ndende zikazaza atumizeni kuno

Pata phiri

True were is lido issue were is the issue of the millions of dollars were to b remitted the poor malawians dont have a toilet first of all


Ths is jst beginin, u wl see the fruit of governed by satan worshiper. U wl keep paying those taxes to pay school fees for ur political officials children overseas. Sorry, may ur devil help u!!! Shameful nation full of ccorruption

Professor Dr. James Napwiri Phiri
Professor Dr. James Napwiri Phiri

It is a bad law

Blessings Mndau

bigger heads nuh like wi. demma pretend tuh love with but dem huh mean it mi tell yuh. dem waan tuh tekk aweh Di likkli money wi hab, yet dem cyaa correct huge sum of money’s fram dem Indian people. zeeen? naw mi seh go back and tell a look pon dia ting cah wi tired wid it! zeeee mi???


force a poor buyer living on less than a dollar per day (therefore less than K13,500/month) to MK500,000 fine that will find its way to the free for all account number 1, eventually landing into the hands of rich public officers and politicians who evade payment of millions of taxes and go scot free. Transferring worth from the poor to the rich. Cry for the Cash gate heart of Africa.


This is a very good development for our country. The honourable member from Salima should have advised the governement to intensify awareness compaign to ensure that the masses are well informed about this amendment. I gnorance is never permanent and we, as a country, should never glorify ignorance or use it as an excuse for stupidity… Kudos parliament.

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