‘New MRA boss appointed to stop destruction of evidence’

President Lazarus Chakwera has admitted that he does not have power to appoint the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) boss but has said he has done so to stop the destruction of evidence at the tax collection body.

The Malawi leader was speaking today in Lilongwe during the swearing in ceremony for minister and deputy ministers.

Chakwera on Wednesday appointed John Bizwick as MRA Commissioner General to replace Gray Malata. He also appointed Henry Ngutwa as Deputy Commissioner General (Revenue) and Mary Katsonga Phiri as Deputy Commissioner General (Administration).

However, the laws on the appointment of the Commissioner General states that the office holder shall be appointed by the board on such terms and conditions as the board shall determine. There is currently not board at MRA.

Chakwera today admitted that the law does not give him power to appoint a Commissioner General and Deputy Commissioner General for Malawi Revenue Authority.

“What the press release on the appointments did not mention is that because such appointments are the domain of the Board of MRA, my appointments are only made to function in an acting capacity until the Board is reconstituted and in place to make permanent appointments,” he said.

The Malawi leader also suggested that there have been cases of corruption and abuse of office at the MRA.

He said: “I have made these provisional appointments to stop the free-for-all pilferage of taxes and the destruction of evidence that have been taking place there in the last few weeks, crimes which need to be stopped as a matter of urgency.”

The Malawi leader has also withheld the appointment of the Deputy Inspector General Demister Chigwenembe because the appointment has to be approved by the Malawi Police Service Commission.

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