MRA saga, blame ZDB architect says expert

An architect of the flopped Zero Deficit Budget is responsible for all the squabbles that Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) has found itself in after it borrowed funds from the commercial banks to garnish the tax revenue figures, an expert has said.

MRA is now smeared with a stinking plan that wouldn’t have been uncovered to the fullest had it been that the architect of the ZDB late President Bingu Wa Mutharika was still alive.

“I am watching the whole blame game with keen interest on why MRA borrowed money to sex up revenue collection and many innocent people are being dragged into the mud. But the reality is that no one would have stood against Mutharika to oppose this decision at all cost,” said a high street bank economist speaking on condition of anonymity.

The source says with the revelation that Treasury wrote to give a go ahead for MRA to borrow funds for the purpose meant that Mutharika was fully aware of the scheme.

Mwanamvekha: Was at the helm of treasury during ZDB era

“The letter is signed by the Budget Director on behalf of the Secretary to the Treasury because that time Joseph Mwanamvekha was still chairperson for Malawi Savings Bank and it would have been a conflict of interest to sign such a letter….so Dr. Kabambe is being a sacrificial lamb in this,” said the source.

This comes amidst another revelation that  Kabambe wrote some banks to transfer funds into government holding accounts at the Reserve Bank of Malawi.

“I wish to request your bank to transfer the sum of K3 billion into the Malawi Government Holdings Accounts at the Reserve Bank of Malawi,” reads part of the letter to dated 3rd January 2012, addressed to NBS bank Chief Executive Officer John Biziwiki.

The letter requested NBS bank to transfer K1.5 billion into the Ministry of Lands Revenue Holding Accountnumber 3003500010 at the central bank and a further 1.5 billion kwacha into the Safety net Levy Revenue Holding Account number 300343220709 at the central bank.

Another expert has confided in Nyasa Times that the Mutharika government was broke and could not afford to make essential purchases for its people.

“It was a desperate attempt to save the ailing economy…late Mutharika knew he had no choice on this one, we saw that the government failed to raise money through treasury bill auctions let alone the high value and long term bonds, things were terrible, ” said the source.

Details of Mutharika’s autocratic thinking and unilateral decision making are emerging, with others saying they were only handed documents to sign and had little or no time to reason on the repercussions of such decisions as that of MRA borrowing funds to fit budget targeted figures.

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