The multimillion Msonkho House owned by the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) will be officially inaugurated this Saturday by President Bingu wa Mutharika, ending a lengthy political interference by the ruling parties in the occupation of the tax body.
Formerly known as Customs and Income Tax Departments, MRA moved nearly all its main offices which were scattered across the commercial capital of Blantyre to Msonkho House.
The House, which was initially meant to be Namiwawa Hotel owned by the defunct Malawi Development Corporation (MDC), is located in the low density suburb of Namiwawa, some meters away from the Presidential Palace, Sanjika.
The taxi collecting body will finally settle in its own complex after having its share of high-level political exploitation right away from the one party rule of Dr Kamuzu Banda.
Previously its head offices were accommodated in Chayamba Building, in the heart of Blantyre city, which was owned by the family of late Dr Kamuzu Banda before shifting under political influence to the magnificent Keza Office Park centrally situated next to Blantyre City Council Civic Offices and Chichiri Shopping Mall.
MRA occupied the entire three-storey Keza Building, which was built and owned (then) by former President Dr Bakili Muluzi, for some years until the DPP government started squeezing Muluzi over various graft cases which resulted in the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) seizing the complex.
Ironically, when the taxi collecting body got into the complex, it changed into MRA House when Muluzi was still in power but upon taking office President Mutharika fought hard to ensure that the beautiful structure is rendered useless until he accomplished his mission.
Currently, the plush offices have been turned into classrooms for Marathana High School which provides Cambridge tuition and is owned by businessman Ernest Kaonga.