Malawi is hosting four Southern African countries, Botswana, Lesotho, Zambia and Zimbabwe in Inter-Revenue games, an annual event that brings together revenue authority bodies to compete in various sporting disciplines.
The official launch of the games took place on Friday evening at Sun ‘n’ Sand Hotel in Mangochi at a lively and colourful ceremony where each of the four countries’ teams challenged one another other with promises of scooping the championship of the tournament to their respective countries.
Clad in their respective national colours, the tax collectors from the four countries marched into the garden park of Sun ‘n’ Sand in their large numbers, one country after another, before each of the respective countries’ national anthems were sung.
The four countries will battle it out in eleven sporting disciplines including pool, basketball, darts, football, beach volley ball, chess, netball, beach soccer, tag of war and athletics, according to the hosting Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) Commissioner General, Thom Grey Malata.
The games will be played at three separate venues of Sun ‘n’ Sand Hotel, Mangochi Stadium and St John the Baptist University of Daughters of Mary Immaculate (DMI) in the district under the theme ‘Bringing Tax into Play.’
There are eleven disciplines of indoor and outdoor games to be played during this year’s Inter-Revenue Games from Saturday to Sunday before announcing final results on Easter Monday, April 2.
“The gains of these games go beyond the medals and the championship. It’s about the competitive games and the networking opportunities that it presents,” said Malata in his opening remarks.
“It’s a very fruitful weekend that brings together tax professionals within Southern Africa to directly interact and share ideas on how we can perfect our job in the region,” Malata added.
On his part, MRA Board Director, Montfort Howahowa who was guest of honour at the launch described the games as an opportunity for sharing information at various levels of revenue administration in a much more relaxed manner than holding formal meetings.
Howahowa observed that games were an indication that revenue authorities in the region did not work in isolation. He, therefore, urged the revenue collection bodies to work tirelessly in their duty to contribute to economies of their respective countries.
The previous Inter-Revenue games were held in Zambia where Zimbabwe emerged overall winners but on Friday evening, Zambians warned to scoop all the trophies in all the games as they chanted their slogan: Paipa pano, zonse titenga! (Watch out, we are going to grab all the trophies).
Mibawa Band, Tygrin, local traditional dances of Beni and Gule Wamkulu spiced up the launch with live performances