The High Court in Blantyre has thrown away an application by businessman-cum-politician Yeremiah Chihana for a judicial review his alleged tax evasion following another ruling dismissing.
the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) application to set aside judicial review on Chihana’s arrest
MRA, in conjunction with the Malawi Police Service (MPS), arrested Chihana on suspicion that he, through his companies, evaded tax amounting to about K1.3 billion (about $1.7million).
Chihana, an opposition politician with the New Rainbow Coalition, came in the limelight when he valued the estate of former president the late Bingu wa Mutharika to be worth K61 billion from just K150 million when he took office eight years earlier.
However, the Mutharika family disputed the assessment as an exaggeration.
Chihana, who has been represented in the matter by Wapona Kitta and Lusungu Gondwe, accused MRA of breaching the terms of the search warrant and warrant of arrest.
He also accused the tax body of court shopping by obtaining a search warrant at a Resident Magistrate’s Court in Blantyre and a warrant of arrest at a Resident Magistrate’s Court in Lilongwe when the case was the same. He argued that MRA did so to suppress some material facts.
But in his determination, Judge Rowland Mbvundula said the court could not establish any wrongful manner in his arrest and agreed with MRA that it had acted reasonably and within its mandate when obtaining the warrant of arrest and search warrant.
The Judge ruled that the court could not accept that MRA acted in any wrongful manner “so as to warrant the quashing, setting aside or otherwise condemnation of any of the respondent’s challenged decisions.”
According to the ruling, Chihana’a application lacked merit and dismissed it with costs.
Among several charges that Chihana faces are that he imported two vehicles without paying customs duty.
But Chihana denied the charges.
The tax collecting body also seized computers and files of Chihana’s YMW Property Investments Company offices in Lilongwe as part of the tax evasion probe.
Besides YMW Property Investments Company, the businessperson also owns Vikawu Trust, Steers Auctioneers and Estate Agency, New Chikale Beach, YMW International Transport/Bus Services Limited, Limex Limited and Prudential Consultants and Dutch Contractors.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :