Opposition urges ACB to stamp out corruption at Malawi Revenue Authority

Opposition political parties in the country have urged graft-busting body Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) to stamp out corruption at Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA), saying the tax-collecting body is being used to oppress small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Mark Katsonga: Serious problem of official criminality

The parties including Malawi Congress Party (MCP), United Transformation Party (UTP), New Labour Party (NLP), People’s Progressive Movement (PPM), United Independent Party (UIP) and Malawi Forum for Unity and Development (Mafunde) told reporters at Grace Bandawe Conference Centre in Blantyre that MRA has been used to harass some SMEs whose owners were seen as government critics.

“Malawi government needs to realise that it has a serious problem of official criminality on its hands and should not go on sleeping  on the job. It is a problem which impacts negatively on the social and economic development of Malawi as a whole,” said PPM president Mark Katsonga-Phiri.

The  parties  in a joint statement  issued at the news conference, say the country’s commercial banks and MRA are mostly favouring those in power at the expense of most of the SMEs which is a setback to the country’s development.

“Malawi SMEs are often fleeced by the MRA. They pay duties and taxes they do not owe. They are hounded for back taxes if they are seen to be political critics or supporters of opposition parties,” said Newton Kambala, president of UTP.

Kambala, former boss at Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry  (MCCI), said there have been cases where MRA has been used to harass some SMEs whose owners were seen as government critics.

He added: “Recently, a town councilor defected to the ruling party after a tax audit by the MRA. It was the only way he could avoid paying taxes to MRA. Big businesses which are owned by non-Malawians get their container loads of goods in duty free or on minimal amounts [taxes] just because they financially support the ruling party.”

Others who spoke included Mafunde president George Nnesa,  president for NLP Sam Mpasu, UIP president Edwin Banda and MCP second vice president, Macdonald Lombola.

But  Minister of Information and Communications Technology Nicholas Dausi , who is official government spokesman, has rejected accusations that government uses MRA as political tool to oppress political competitiors and critics, saying the opposition  are ignorant in the basics of economics.


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4 years ago

Kuli George mankhwala wish. Thief and a half. My people also know that when rampant nepotism is being entrenched, its a technique to shield each other tribesmen in the business of thuggery and thievery. That’s why many MDAs are being headed by lhomwes. And these lhomwes being heads bat certain MDA, replicate it at each level in that particular organization. Muluzi eledon made biggest mistake i n bringing this tribalistic lhomwes

4 years ago
Reply to  Phiideria

TRIBALISM IS CORRUPTION. The government of Malawi needs to develop a policy on this and let an audit of government and SOEs be done to show the geographical distribution of where people come from and let ACB do its job. Infact, TRIBALISM is the WORST form of corruption because people shield each other from mentioning who is doing what as they connive in conducting malpractices

4 years ago

The Board and Senior Management of MRA ought to be investigated. Meanwhile let them step aside as the investigation is being undertaken. For me personally, what is the country doing to criminalize corruption particularly in PRIVATE SECTOR WHERE WE HAVE SEEN RAMPANT CORRUPTION.FURTHER PRIVATE SECTOR DANGLE MONEY TO OUR PUBLIC CIVIL SERVANTS AND TEMPT THEM. THERE NEEDS TO BE AN URGENT LAW TO FINE PRIVATE SECTOR SAY AT USD100,000 if discovered and blacklist them and their affiliates for ten years from doing any business with government

Hlabezulu Ngonoonda
Hlabezulu Ngonoonda
4 years ago
Reply to  Panganani

It is rumoured that the Corrupt and Fraud Practices legislation is earmarked to be revised in order to extend investigative powers of corrupt related practices by the graft bursting body to the private sector where Malawians of Asian origins seem to have found a field day.

4 years ago

MRA is a open thief appointed by government to seal from citizens.

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