Malawi Revenue Authority justifies 16.5% ‘tax on life’

The Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) has justified the Value Added Tax (VAT) accrued to water saying without it consumers would be paying hefty bills for the utility to foot the suppliers’ production expenses.

Mbilizi: A relief

The Authority disclosed this at a national interface with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Lilongwe aimed at sensitizing the CSOs to enhance the ‘Everyone Must Pay Tax’ campaign.

The concern was raised by Livingstonia Synod’s Church and Society Executive Director, Moses Mkandawire, who sought clarification from the Authority as to why water, always referred to as life, should be taxed.

Another rights activist, Charles Kajoloweka, echoed Mkandawire’s concern wondering as to whether it was justifiable to “tax life”.

But in her response, MRA Deputy Commissioner General, Roza Mbilizi, said the tax set on water by the revenue collecting body was, in fact, a relief to consumers saying left to the utility suppliers the tax would be too exorbitant for consumers to pay.

“If water boards were to attach VAT to water depending on all the expenses incurred to produce safe water for drinking, taking into account all the chemicals applied, procurement of the equipment and maintenance of the same, consumers would not be able to pay for the utility,” she explained.

Mbilizi added: “In fact consumers ought to be happy they are paying the MRA set 16.5 percent VAT because without the intervention the water boards would be lumping all the expenses on the consumers.”

However, the explanation did not satisfy Mkandawire who later said in an interview that “there is need to do something because it still does not make sense to have water taxed – whatever the explanation”.

“I’m still not convinced with the explanation because water is life and to have it taxed is depriving people of life – it’s as simple as that,” said Mkandawire, adding that the civil society would push the matter further.

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It was just a few months ago that it was reported of Water Board financing a “DPP Blue Night” which is a specific party activity, yet that was money from our taxes, and am MCP and not DPP. To me it just means Water Boards have adequate money which they freely fund politicians. WHY SHUD THEY PUNISH US WITH TAXES? WHEN SHALL DPP STOP SYPHONING OUR TAXES? IT’S TIME MALAWI STOOD UP AND STEPPED ON DPP & ALL CORRUPT LEADERS AT ALL LEVELS & IN ALL INSTITUTIONS TO SQUEEZE OUT OF THEM OUR HARD EARNED RESOURCES THEY HAVE SYPHONED ALL… Read more »

Kodi munthu akafusa walakwa? Mukutukwanilanji azanu? Tsopano munthu wanzeru ndani, ofusa kuti adziwe chifukwa chenicheni chamsonkhowu? Ndiamene akuba ndalama zamisonkho ya a Malawi osauka komanso aumphawi, kuwonjezelapo makolo anu? Kubaku ndikunyoza mitundu yanzanu mukafika nazo kuti? Sikuthandizani zimenezo, ndipo sizikutengelani kutali. Nenani fundo kuti anzanu anve. Don’t be like empty tins which make alot of noise, or are you like them? Chomwe mudziwe, ngati pabwera chinthu chowawa or vuto pakati pa Malawi, vutolo lakhudza anthu onse adziko la Malawi, zigawo zonse za dziko la Malawi, komanso mtundu wonse wadziko lamalawi omwe akubeledwawa. Siyani kuwombera m’manja ndikuvomeleza zinthu zolakwika. Lapani.

Teacher Chadzunda

Koma boma apa ndiye zavutatu!!
Ma transportnso muyike VAT. Tikakwera mini bus VAT…Tikadya Ku restaurant VAT. Zammbale Ku church VAT!!

Alinafe Phiri

And it’s all the same because they are the same people who are paying for the water wether through MRA (16.5%) or being charged by the Water boards.

There is too much reaping from the poor Malawian. This tax does not cushion the taxpayer. If it did water would not be that expensive. This tax is for those who get paid from tax money to be getting more perks. You will hear them next budget asking for increases in their perks. If tax money was being used prudently and not being stolen Malawian would have low rates on water, electricity, telephones, housing even fuel. But theft of public money is making even the poorest to pay high rates or bills for the rich. Look at even maize not… Read more »
Wife To My Dear Husband-KMBC
Wife To My Dear Husband-KMBC

Last days here on Earth. People taxing water.
Being ashamed and failing, they wish too if they sale or tax the air we breath.
People shall be punished of their wants/deeds.


Msonkhowo ndi wabwino koma vuto ndalama zonse zipita mthumba la a Chaponda.


it doesn’t make sense no tax =high cost aaaaaa


sure go ahead anthu akutibela ndalama awa


atumbuka always negative.u mean all these yrs u didnt know?stupid northerners.that’s y kamuzu chased you.i bet u stl want to vote for mcp

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