Although analysts of the economy are arguing that challenges of collecting tax in the fiscal year is because the economy is not performing well, Nyasa Times can reveal that fear of job losses and frustration of staff at the public tax collector Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) are the reasons in-chief for below par tax collection.
Staff have confided that there is a programme to remove established positions at MRA a thing that also happened in 2010 that swept away 200 staff.
In defence not to retrench anyone but retain and re-allocate staff, director of human resource at MRA Blackson Kayuni is the first casualty and has been fired.
His truthful argument was MRA cannot afford another storm with staff when it is struggling to settle in excess of K1 billion ruled by courts to pay employees who were unceremoniously retrenched in 2010.
Documents that Nyasa Times has in its possession confirm the prolonged decry showing MRA brass is ready to chop off positions.
“It all started two years ago that management wants to implement a new structure and they are calling it realignment. Our fear is confirmed that many positions will be scrapped off especially at officer, supervisory and junior management levels. And many staff are nervous and have withdrawn their concentration making us miss targets by over K40 billion now,” said one of the sources.
Another one said the same staff have shown capacity to beat tax targets by tens of billions of kwachas for years but find it hard to work because they are not sure of a future as taxmen.
“Because they are hiding the truth capacity and dedication is diminishing. We are the same people who know our work and get taxes all the time. How can we enforce laws of tax and work properly when we are told that our positions will not exist by June 2018? It is hard because already MRA is paying billions to the 200 staff illegally dismissed in 2010 and they are at it again,” said the source
MRA over collected tax by over K40 billion last year after getting taxes of over K750 billion.