CDEDI announces mass action to force Malawi govt remove punitive taxes

Malawi’s cities and major towns are expected to host a new wave of nationwide protests next Wednesday, April 21, 2021, as the Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) takes to the streets to protest against ‘government’s punitive taxes, high levies and interest rates on loans and essential services and commodities’.

Some of the scenes during the previous Cdedi led protests
Some of the scenes during the previousCdedi led protests

CDEDI executive director Sylvester Namiwa said since the government had defied their seven-day ultimatum to scrap off the value added tax (VAT) and other taxes of essentials goods such as edible cooking oil, his organization will now proceed to mobilize Malawians to hold nationwide demonstrations.

“The punitive taxes, levies and interest rates are not helping anyone as evidenced by the smuggled products which are not bringing any revenue to the country. The development is forcing the local industries to either shut down completely or downsize their workforce and operations. In this kind of set up, Malawians are losing jobs on one hand and government is losing taxes on the other hand. As a result this has further led to yet another problem the influx of foreign nationals that are living in Malawi illegally, doing illegal business in undesignated premises,” said Namiwa.

The CDEDI boss made the sentiments during a press briefing he held alongside concerned citizens in Lilongwe.

Namiwa disclosed that the K6.2 billion Covid-19 funds feared to have been looted by public officers will form part of the agenda for the nationwide protests.

He emphasized that the punitive taxes are depriving Malawians of the pride that goes with buying locally manufactured products simply because they are expensive due to high cost of production.

He said this is why CDEDI has been demanding a review and subsequent removal of some of the taxes and levies on fuel, water and electricity in order to reduce cost of production thereby making the products affordable to the ordinary Malawians.

Namiwa contended that in so doing, the government will be protecting the marginalized from hazardous smuggled products that have flooded the local market at the same time allow the local industry to flourish thereby creating more jobs and remit revenues to government through taxes.

“In an ideal situation CDEDI and well-meaning Malawians expected the Tonse Alliance Government under President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera to utter a word on recent closure of Kanengo Tobacco Processors Limited in Lilongwe; Bakhresa Group of Companies in Mzuzu and more recently, Manica Limited. As an advocacy institution on human rights, CDEDI has come to stand with the voiceless, and we are insisting on our demand that government should scrap off such taxes such as VAT on cooking oil, take out all the unjustifiable levies on fuel and electricity and immediately embark on a review process of the tax laws. This will in turn push down the high cost of living among Malawians,” he said.

He stated that besides improving the welfare of Malawians in general, the move would have made Malawi attractive for foreign direct investment and guarantee the realization of creating one million jobs.

“While CDEDI and indeed Malawians of good will were busy asking government to embark on an exercise to review the tax policies, the citizens woke up to the news that the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RMB) had approved a blanket increase of interest rates on loans in total disregard of its policy that Ministries, Government Departments and Agencies  (MGDA) should set a certain percentage to buy from Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).It is an open secret that for our SME’s to benefit from this policy direction the central bank should create incentives to commercial banks to give out affordable loans for such business,” narrated Namiwa.

One of the concerned citizens, Vincent Mtambalika, who had travelled all the way from Mchinji to grace the presser, said the taxes have exposed his family to uncertified products imported from Mozambique and Zambia.

Mtambalika feared that this would eventually affected his family.

“We are pleading with the government to review these taxes. Otherwise, we will all die because of consuming bad products,” he said.

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Amfumu
23 days ago

Tonse alliance supporters are supporting these taxes? Shame to you. Chakwera will be the worst president Malawi has ever had. Dull. He doesn’t know what he is doing!!

ZANU PF
24 days ago

Brown and Clapperton closed, PTC closed many of it’s shops, Press Agriculture closed most of it’s farms, Kandodo stores closed, Stagecoach closed, Mulanje Can closed, ADMARC is almost dead, Lever Brothers closed and many more. These happened during Bakili Muluzi and dpp between 1994 and 2000. Malawi Railways too. You want Chakwera to talk. You idiots are hypocrites and you are happy to see Malimba making stupid demands. Wait until 2050 for APM to come back.

Political commentator
24 days ago

When your agogo introduced Carbon Tax, you were just quiet kumaombera mmanja – now see heeee! We will never trust you

gogo petulo
24 days ago

These taxes have been there even during gogo petulo’s rule. he was in Malawi during this time but he kept quiet. Malawians cannot trust you

Kaude
Kaude
24 days ago
Reply to  gogo petulo

We want change. Dont just clap hands for clueless leaders

FEW GOOD MEN
FEW GOOD MEN
24 days ago

Only Family people with huge responsibility rest on them will understand this. I will be there

Bentby
25 days ago

Useless

Exhorbitant Taxes, Charges, and Fuel Prices Must F
Exhorbitant Taxes, Charges, and Fuel Prices Must F
25 days ago

Two issues: one, I just checked my calendar which has 100% success rate and it tells me next wednesday is April 14, 2021 and NOT April 21, 2021. Secondly, will we demonstrate once off or we will be demonstrating every wednesday? Answer me quickly, because I need to plan my leave days accordingly, and participate in this auspicious activity. Oh, one other thing, is there an account we can forward our financial contributions?

Wawa
25 days ago

I’m in.

Wakwiya ndi Kadeti
25 days ago

Ma kadeti akusowa zochita. You lose.

Assange
25 days ago

National wide demos? A dpp operative Namiwa mpaka nationwide? Are you combining with Malimba and Kamangira? You never talked when your pay masters introduced carbon tax. We can’t trust you. You have a political agenda. Dpp is working behind you.

Kaude
Kaude
24 days ago
Reply to  Assange

This record ikumbika posachedwa. Things are really tough in this country. Inu ngati mukudya nawo leave us tidandaule

Wakwiya ndi Kadeti
24 days ago
Reply to  Kaude

Kalimeni fertilizer akupezeka. Be like Burundians or Nigerians. If you for the government to give everything basi mufatu.

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