Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) is still hoarding decorated personnel within its ranks who orchestrated the illegal recruitment of officers busted by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and others practising active partisan politics, Nyasa Times can reveal.
In our follow-up on the matters, MRA management and board of directors clearly admitted to have grown a cold feet regarding implementing ACB’s directive about the people behind the recruitment mess at the tax collector.
Among others, the then ACB director general, Reyneck Matemba, ordered MRA management to discipline officials who replaced names of bonafide candidates who were successful in interviews with their siblings, cousins and relatives.
Briefing reporters last year, Matemba said among the fraudulent names on the list of bogus recruits included a Kapoloma, a brother to MRA director for corporate services, Steven Kapoloma.
But it has been discovered that over nine months down the line both the MRA Board and Management are yet to act on the matter in clear contravention of ACB orders.
When asked, both the tax bull’s commissioner general John Biziwick and acting director of human resource Sarah Muskambo Jere, referred the matter to Kapoloma who speaks for the government’s tax collector.
MRA board chairperson, Vizenge Kumwenda, panicked to give tangible direction and also referred the matter back to Kapoloma despite the latter being among the culprits.
When contacted, Kapoloma tried hard to hoodwink Malawians by subtly defending himself.
“The directive to employ those eligible was implemented as for disciplinary action I will have to refer to our HR for specifics,” he said referring the matter back to Muskambo Jere who had earlier told Nyasa Times that Kapoloma had all the details.
Some investigators close to the cases said: “It is foolhardy that Kapoloma is still entrusted to drive MRA’s image of instilling public confidence on matters of tax integrity yet the ACB implicated him in the disgraceful case. The questions that people are asking are that Why are there no disciplinary measures by MRA so far?”
Another added: “Why should MRA staff adhere to an integrity campaign championed by an ACB certified crook who gave an employment letter to a brother that never was anywhere near qualified to be recruited at MRA? Why must Malawians and all taxpayers entrust their taxes to an organisation that is still holding on to a publicly known corrupt individual?”
Malawians are appealing to MRA board and new management to correct the situation by applying set measures to earn back lost public trust.
They are basing this as a unique scenario of cases since all work to address the matter were made by ACB, an organisation that is entrusted to instil integrity in the public service and counter corruption.
Even though there are court proceedings about the controversial K5 billion worth of cement, purportedly imported by former Head of State Peter Mutharika as his Taxpayer Identification (TPIN) was used to clear the commodity and access duty free passage.
Nyasa Times investigations have proven that executives and senior officers involved in the cement clouded case that reeks ‘aided smuggling’ are still holding public office at the tax bull.
Commissioner customs and excise Fatch Valeta who oversaw the cement saga is now transferred to a tax investigation section.
Emerging developments at Msonkho House also indicate that former deputy commissioner general Roza Mbilizi also personally handpicked Waziona Ligomeka, a fulltime civil servant with Ministry of Finance and made him sign a contract with MRA of Director of Policy Planning and Research.
This means Ligomeka is on dual employment by Malawi government since he is still employed at the Ministry of Finance and there was no letter from MRA to the Ministry requesting for specific staff on secondment or indeed any vacancy announcing the position.
For the record, Waziona is brother to Stuart Ligomeka, who was also influential on the matter as he was the Comptroller of Statutory Corporations then.
As if that is not enough, Nyasa Times also revealed that MRA, a public institution, still has under its employ renown officers who were directly involved in partisan politics in rallies, social media and elections.
MRA regulations do not allow involvement in politics but a senior ICT Manager responsible for tax computer systems Roy Khouge, was photographed in The Nation of 25th June 2020 as an official on the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP ) desk, clad in a party ID at the tally centre in Blantyre.
Customs officers Bennet Meke and Patrice Mtilatila were posting political messages on their Facebook, donning party colours for DPP and addressing party rallies.
However, the two were just transferred to other stations without any disciplinary hearings and prescribed corrective processes.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :