Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe hopes to domestically bankroll his current budget and the incoming one costing K900 billion are going up in smoke as government’s major cash generator, the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) continues to show signs of fatigue and non-performance.
MRA has for a fourth month running failed to meet Ministry of Finance’s target as witnessed in its March revenue report.
MRA said in a statement that it has only collected K34.34 billion of tax in March 2015 instead of MK38.11 billion needed by government.
The report says cumulatively, total tax revenues collected in the fiscal year 2014/15 totalled K344.33 billion, still short of the K354.06 billion need for the period.
Although this low collection by MRA has been justified by some to unstable economic conditions, several sources in MRA have said staff are heavily demoralized and literary living in fear to collect more as needed because of many negative decisions unilaterally by Commissioner General Ralph Kamoto.
Since his appointment Kamoto has cracked fires of power struggles in MRA. Now over 40 officers have been suspended for vague charges like coming from the same area with previous bosses and for giving facts about MRA operations thought to be siding with other bosses.
The tax agency has now becoming a number one security arm by eavesdropping calls on suspected officers, this comes shortly after announcing to all staff of monitoring personal, officials emails and social media accounts.
The relentless victimisation of staff is said to have contributed most to the fall of tax collection to new lows Malawi has ever experienced.
Some analysts have suggested that the Minister of Finance himself to intervene or lose out national plans to operationalise the intended K900 billion budget .