The Centre for Democracy and Development Initiatives [CDEDI], has written the Office of the Malawi Revenue Authority [MRA] Commissioner General, Mr. John Bizwick, demanding progress being made on Faizal Latif of Mapeto Wholesalers tax evasion.
CDEDI says it has written Bizwick on behalf of Malawians especially those involved in cross border trade, who have raised concerns on the selective application of the tax laws and regulations.
The organization claims that MRA gives preferential treatment between the indigenous business people and the Malawians of Indian origin who are plying their trade in the country.
This is contained in a letter dated 12th October, 2020 to Mr. John Bizwick on concerns of the MRA, Preferential treatment in the Tax law enforcement and application between the indigenous Malawians and Malawians of Asian origin.
In the letter, CDEDI says now that Covid -19 travel restrictions are slowly lifted, all Malawians are waiting with baited breaths to hear from MRA on how the Mapeto Wholesalers saga will be concluded to finalize its investigations.
CDEDI says the budget statement the Minister of Finance, Felix Mlusu delivered in the National Assembly on September 11, 2020 page 30 bulletin 104 conceded that Government is aware of the rampant tax evasion issues in the country.
……‘’The Mapeto Wholesalers incident happened before Bizwick assumed office, CDEDI do not want to conclude that MRA’s cold feet on the incident is a signal that your office is sweeping the scam under the carpet,’’……reads part of CDEDI letter.
A concerned Malawian from Mzuzu wrote CDEDI on 5th October, 2020 of MRA search warrant involving Latif of Mapeto Wholesalers tyres and the excuse which MRA gave on the matter that they failed to investigate due to the Covid -19 saying this was ridiculous and baseless claiming that all parties namely; Mapeto, MRA and NBS Bank which facilitated the transactions were given a fair chance to be heard and was surprised as to why the story was withdrawn in the newspaper on August 3, 2020.
……’’ I expected the ACB to act or the whistleblowers we have in town to act but zero. Why late Denis Katsache, the one whose remains were damped at the MRA Mzuzu office was not given a chance to be heard like the way the MRA is giving to Mapeto to an extent that they are waiting up to the end of Covid -19 pandemic to investigate him,’’….reads the concerned citizen writings to CDEDI.
In one of the daily papers of 3rd August, 2020 with the title MRA drags feet on duty probe reported that MRA is yet to make progress one year after obtaining a court search warrant to investigate the alleged undervaluing imports from China purportedly to evade tax, attributing the delay to Covid -19 while Mapeto Wholesalers claims to have no case within MRA.
By Vincent Gunde