Rumphi East member of Parliament (MP) Kamlepo Kalua who sued two Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) officers and a police officer who impounded his two vehicles on suspected tax evasion, will have to go into mediation to enable a settlement out-of-court.
Kalua sued Maganizo Chinkoko, MRA senior tax investigation officer and lead investigator during the raid, Edwin Magalasi, assistant commissioner for police and regional criminal investigations officer (Southern Region) and Winstone Honde, an officer at MRA.
The three officials led a raid of Kalua’s house in Nkolokosa Township, Blantyre where they seized a Mercedes Benz and a Toyota V8 belonging to Kalua’s son Penjani, on allegation that they were smuggled into the country.
In civil case number 142 of 2017 at the High Court in Blantyre, the three defendants deny accusations of neglecting or failing to comply with a court order and conniving or conspiring with each other to prevent the course of justice and acting in wanton and reckless manner occasioning or bludgeoning travesty of justice.
In their defence through lawyer Beatrice Mwangwela of MRA, they argue that all steps they took in their action were “within the law and was done with full authority of the court and all instructions were full authority of MRA and Malawi Police Services.”
The trio further state that Kalua “never produced any customs clearance certificate from MRA as proof clearance within customs, thereby raising futher suspicion that he did not comply with customs laws.”
They also contend that Kalua did not follow the required customs lawa to register the motor vehicles under the duty concession in the name of MRA as the title holder.
Kalua is demanding damages for the injuries he has suffered namely, being put to public shame and ridicule, embarrassed in his reputation and credit as an MP as well as being put in serious public odium and has suffered in his self-esteem and estimation of reasonable members of society.
The seized vehicles, including a grounded Jeep, were later returned after the legislator obtained an injunction against the action.
His lawyer Wanangwa Jere, said the case would go for mediation but can be taken back to court if that process fails.