MRA to procure drones to support enforcement, intelligence gathering 

Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA)  says it will be procuring drones to support enforcement and various  interventions the tax collecting body is carrying out against smuggling of various items into the country using uncharted routes.

MRA director general Tom Malata (r) and  chairperson Harawa

MRA Director of Corporate Affairs, Steven Kapoloma said the drones, to be used to detect smugglers, will also help them in intelligence gathering.

Kapoloma also said they are closely working various companies,  mainly victims of smuggling, in the fight against smuggling and have several initiatives that they have implemented and continue to implement in order to deal with this challenge.

“We are doing patrols together. We are sharing information and that has helped us to at least deal with those that are smuggling goods, ” said Kapoloma.

According to him,  one of the interventions that MRA is currently undertaking is the use of permenant road blocks and teams patrolling  24 hours and its duty is to intercept and seize all goods that have not been cleared through the borders.

“Apart from that,  we do conduct periodic patrols what we call mobile patrols and we have the scanners at the borders. All these efforts are aimed at ensuring that only legitimate goods are brought into the country and should not use uncharted routes.

“Those using uncharted routes must be penalized and must feel the pain as scribed in the law, ” said Kapoloma.

The MRA Director Corporate Affairs claimed that besides these existing interventions,  they are educating communities on the need to stop aiding smuggling.

“Going forward,  we are looking at procuring drones that will be able to support our enforcement and intelligence gathering. It will also support the patrols that we are undertaking.

“These interventions are bearing fruits and we think in the long run the challenge of smuggling will be dealt with according, ” said Kapoloma.

Recently, MRA Board Chairperson Dr. Rex Harawa said hailed the Authority’s management for rolling out various to automate services in various areas including Customs,  saying they are crucial to Malawi’s ranking in the Doing Business Report by the World Bank.

Harawa said country data determines investment destinations and that Government’s vision is to attract more investments into Malawi with focus to turn the economy into a predominantly producing and exporting one.

“It is therefore important that we always aim at improving the doing business ranking for Malawi.  Currently, Malawi is progressively at position 109 out of the 190 countries which is a great improvement from position 132 recorded 10 years ago.

Government’s aim is to at least achieve a doing business ranking below 100. Commissioner General, the doing business ranking of below 100 cannot just happen; it is through swift service provision and adherence to international standards which MRA and many players in the economy are implementing, ” said Harawa.

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Mayamiko Mvula
Mayamiko Mvula
1 year ago

Before implementing such technologies, we need to make sure that there is robust legislation to oversee and regulate their uses especially around privacy of the public. Most rural communities have open roof bathrooms and we need to make sure that the potential for abuse of such technologies is mitigated to a a minimum

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