Journalists Union of Malawi slams govt’s invisible political machinations to muzzle media

The Journalists Union of Malawi (JUMA) has slammed some “invisible political machinations” behind the action  by the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) to seal the headquarters of the Times Media Group because of outstanding tax payments.

M’theto Lungu : Malawi government to muzzle the media

Times Group which was sealed by MRA

JUMA, through a press statement signed by its president Mtheto Lungu and Secretary General Charles Nkula said they strongly believe that, in a frantic effort to save the battered image of the government, authorities are using the state machinery in trying to muzzle the media group from further providing the local and internationalcommunity with information regarding the belligerent purchase of maize from Zambia.

“JUMA would like to point out to government the serious consequences of such a decision, which may lead to loss of employment by staff of the media company, loss of livelihoods for their dependents, as well as loss of their socio-economic contributions to the societies where they belong.

“Already, Malawi is struggling to lift 21 percent of its 17 million plus people out of unemployment and cannot afford to add to this figure. Especially at this time when the country is in an economic slowdown and when most Malawians do not know where their next meal is going to come from,” reads part of the statement.

Malawi’s employment figures, which indicate that only 4 percent of the population are engaged in professional occupations and that 89 percent of working persons are in the informal employment setups – characterised by worse working conditions in form of less income, social protection, work safety, and representation – are not impressive at all.

The statement further reads that to avoid plunging the nation into further misery, poverty and inequality, JUMA would like to encourage the leadership to reconsider its decision, re-open and engage in a dialogue with the Times Media Group as it does with all other tax defaulters.

It states that “Media freedom and journalists’ work rights cannot be afforded to be carelessly frustrated and wasted as that will derail socio-economic development strides.”

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chilungamo basi
Guest

The union is not saying people should default tax. It is saying politics must not be used to selectively attack any tax defaulter.

MBC owes govt taxes in billions. So does Galaxy media, and even some companies owned by some DPP officials.

And we all know there are better ways of pushing for tax payments. And we all know that this has only happened to TG because of Chaponda the thief.

Malawians lets open our eyes. There is nothing to do with donors or CSOs trying to derail govt or indeed fight an already dead DPP.

This is just facts. God forgive you.

Zaya ku Nkhongo
Guest
Malawian CSOs are bent on maligning the DPP govt at the behest of their Western handlers who are funding any projects in the name of citizen advocacy. The endgame is destabilisation of our country and eventually bringing down the DPP government and imposing a puppet like Joyce Banda to accede to anything and everything the white imperialists demand. It is common knowledge the DPP as a party has never been forgiven for ejecting the British High Commissioner during late Bingu’s tenure. We still suffer the consequences of that sovereign action to date. The other issue was the LGBT rights which… Read more »
Fred Mmembe
Guest

It’s the selective clamping on Times tax default that’s a contention. Soon, DPP which will be in opposition in less than 3 years to come will need the voice of Times. Time will tell.

MRA AUDITOR
Guest

Now what you should know stupid union is that Times group tax evasion dates as far back as 2010. This is the third time to close them. Terms have been agreed to and not fulfilled, even once!! This K675million is from a recent audit, there is K1.3 billion audited in 2013 under injunction. Imeneyi company?? Where is the politics here? Should they not pay because they criticize government? How come zodiak is paying?? We are here to do a job for our nation and Wewll do it to the best of our ability. I bet you they will pay!!!

MRA AUDITOR
Guest

The board of Times group should fire Chikadya and his team. How can they accurate such a huge tax bill?? Where are the auditors?? Amati PAYE ( from employees),VAT yapita kuti? If you are a real lot of on that board you would immediately fire this idiot called Leonard Chikadya. He will bring this company down if not already. The tax bill is unacceptable and I don’t think the company can pay it under any terms or circumstances.

Sister taya
Guest
This is a very stupid statement from a stupid union!!!! So, you should not pay tax? What if the arrangements fail as in the care of Times Group? Please only write when you know the full story!! Poor journalism. You should be the first to condemn tax evaders like Times group. Their bill by the way is almost K2billion !!! Why do you want MRA to do?? Your article is talking about poverty: how will it end when stupid company es love me yours don’t pay tax? You are talking about employees: why steal from them through PAYE?? Times group… Read more »
Thinktank
Guest

It’s stupid to defend govt efforts to seal off Times through MRA.Companies all over the world owes taxes but the solution is not to close them but engage in payment arrangments.It’s intellectually dishonest to think MRA is doling this without political connotations.

Zaya ku Nkhongo
Guest

Mthetho Lungu tisakomedwe nditima statement topanda ntchito. MRA has an obligation to collect taxes and taxes it will collect where necessary. To this end, can you kindly advise the nation at large whether the Times Group tax position is satisfactory or not. If not, can you advise our nation why it is not and how they intend to meet their statutory obligations. Lastly, Mthetho Lungu can you advise Malawians why MRA should not pursue any sanction on Times Group when it is evident the company is not tax compliant.

Psyuta
Guest

Kkkkkkk !! Mukufuna musamalipile msonkho ?

James Phiri
Guest

Zambia shut down the Post newspaper on a similar tax related issue. Newspapers and journalist must be careful to have their house in order because govt will clamp down hard on news outlets with outstanding tax payments or any other failure to comply to rules and regulations.

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