Malawi has lost close to US$3.1 trillion through illicit financial flows over the past six decades, with the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) featuring among the institutions involved in diverting taxpayers’ money into personal accounts, Nyasa Times has gathered.
Chairperson of the newly established Parliamentary Committee on Tax Justice, Werani Chilenga, said these illicit financial flows date back to 1964 when Malawi got independence from Britain and has been sustained through the all governments until now.
“Malawi has lost close to US$3.1 trillion through illicit financial deals. We have information with a lot of details, which we will later on reveal to Malawians to hear those shocking revelations that we have in as far as our revenue collection is concerned in this country,” said Chilenga.
The Chitipa South legislator and also Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources and Climate Change made the sentiments in Lilongwe on the sidelines of an orientation meeting for members of Parliament (MPs) on tax justice and illicit financial flows.
The Malawi Economic Justice Network (MEJN) organized the orientation meeting with financial support from Tax Justice Africa Network (TJAN).
“Some of these malpractices started happening as far way back as the UDF administration, they continued in Bingu wa Mutharika administration, up to now, they are still happening. Nothing has changed. And we will reveal to Malawians what is happening and they are going to hear what we are talking about,” he said.
Chilenga said his Committee will soon reveal names of the people championing illicit financial deals at the government revenue collector.
He vowed that as a Caucus, they will go carry out their oversight duty by, among others exposing institutions and individuals involved in these malpractices.
“We will go flat out to expose these malpractices, particularly in the extractive and wildlife industries. We will also go after the revenue collectors. We feel that there is a lot of illicit financial flows at MRA. Malawians have lost billions of kwachas through illicit financial flows at MRA. We cannot talk about the figures. They are in billions. Billions indeed! There is money, which is being collected, but not being deposited into Account Number One, other bank accounts have been created and the money is going there. So, we will give out the details very soon once we finalize analyzing the information in our possession,” assured Chilenga.
MEJN executive director Bertha Phiri said the purpose of the meeting was to orient MPs on illicit financial flows that Malawi is experiencing and how best the legislators can respond to the vice.
Phiri disclosed that MEJN in collaboration with TJAN would want to come up with the National Parliamentary Caucus that can be championing issues of financial flows across Africa.
She said reports from African Union and Economic Commission of Africa reveal alarming figures that Malawians lose through organized cartels at institutions such as MRA.
“Malawi has been losing out huge resources through illicit financial flows such as tax evasion, tax holidays, mining licenses, among others. But also some system losses that have been there through the MRA. Statistics are so alarming that we are losing a lot through these illicit financial flows. That is why it’s necessary to have a Parliamentary Committee to oversee these issues and situation,” said Phiri.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :