What started as a grievance galore where taxmen and women expressed their years of abuse in the hands of politically connected leaders has now turned into a full confrontation between junior officers and commissioners at Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA).
Nyasa Times interviews conducted revealed low morale as the officers say supervisors and station leaders were subjected to insubordination that was subtly sanctioned by the commissioners and has resulted to losses of billions of public revenue.
“Most of these unruly staff that even the public complain of at the borders and our offices were behaving so because the commissioners were using them as spies and some deemed themselves as coming from powerful families.
“They are the ones that had so much power engaging in corruption, overruling, bypassing, intimidating their supervisors and station managers. Some were even clearing cars and truck of goods by just pocketing cash, MRA Internal Affairs department has files on them we want them to act now,” said some of the workers.
They have told the commissioners point-blank to stop using spies and using divide and rule tactics, arguing that they are very patriotic because regardless of their abuse and prevailing economic challenges, unprecedented records of tax revenues in excess of K1 trillion was collected for the public service in the past 12 months.
“You have over the years systematically planted ‘spies’ among us who feed you with a lot of unfounded rumours to their benefit. Unfortunately, they are our fellow officers who have greatly benefitted from this heinous and diving act.
“If you do not trust your own managers to give you credible assessments there is something very wrong. Stop using officers as personal spies and stop making decision based on hearsay and gossip,” reads part of the officers’ letter to the commissioners.
What has angered the workers more is that the tax collection body has gone miles and installed a machine that is intruding into their privacy by listening and monitoring messages.
“We have heard that there is a spy machine at Head Office that taps into phone conversations. If this is to any good effected, please inform all officers because in a democratic Malawi we all need to know it is there,” the officers letter read.
Most of the interviews at stations along the borders said Nyasa Times is also a victim of the machinery because the commissioners have used it to block viewing of Nyasa Times from all MRA computers under orders of deputy director general Roza Mbilizi.
The commissioners had not yet responded to the workers demand.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :