President Banda orders MRA to clear its mess, close up borders

Malawi President Joyce Banda is leaving no stone unturned in her firm efforts to ensure that the country is corrupt free with every citizen having an equal share of the pie.

On Friday, President Banda ordered the grubby Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) to clear its mess and also advised the Immigration Department to ensure that the country’s porous borders are properly checked.

MRA is one government institution with deep-rooted corruption particularly their officers working  in the borders such as Songwe in Karonga and Mwanza in Mwanza where they take corruption as part of life.

President Joyce Banda at trade fair

The President observed that the country was losing a chunk of its hard-earned foreign exchange through the leaky borders.

“Our forex is not coming back. We want our dollars to come back when people export our products. There is something going on at our borders,” observed Banda when she officially opened the 24th Malawi International Trade Fair at Chichiri Show Grounds in Blantyre.

She added: “I don’t want to go into details, I have a lot of details but something needs to be done.”

The President said Malawians were working hard and toiling as such they “must see the benefits of their sweat.”

Running through some of her administration’s plans, President Banda said government was in the process of streamlining administration of domestic taxes at the Malawi Revenue Authority.

She said the process is aimed at reducing time and costs incurred when processing, among others, VAT and income and employment tax returns.

The Malawi leader assured that the process will increase transparency, accountability, equality, competitiveness and more conducive business environment at the tax collecting body.

Banda also said the tax modernization process will also involve improving customer services and communication at MRA.

The revenue collecting government body is currently embroiled in a scam after it was discovered that it borrowed about K30 billion from the country’s commercial banks to spruce up revenues in order to give an impression to the world that the now abandoned Zero Deficit Budget (ZDB) introduced by late President Bingu wa Mutharika was a success.

The trade fair, which is organised by the Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI), started in 1987 and is held annually.

This year, over 30 foreign exhibitors and over 180 local traders are taking part in the annual business fair which will run from May 25th to June 3rd under the theme, ‘Realising our Vision the Export Way’.

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