MRA yet to discipline officers implicated in recruitment scam

The Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) management is non-committal on when it will implement the Anti-Corruption Bureau’s (ACB) directive to discipline its senior officers involved in a fraudulent recruitment of Revenue and Custom officers.

The ACB in August last year faulted the recruitment process at MRA which the ACB said had incorporated some 71 non-eligible candidates on the list of 125 successful candidates.

Former ACB director Reyneck Matemba told reporters at a news briefing in Lilongwe that among the list of non-eligible candidates were daughter to DPP Regional Governor for the South Charles Mchacha, a relative to former Homeland Minister Nicholas Dausi and also a relation to MRA’s head of corporate affairs Steven Kapoloma.

The ACBs findings also found two senior officers at MRA to have abused their office in the recruitment scam whom the report had directed that they be disciplined.

However, about seven months down the line since the ACB findings, investigations have revealed that MRA management is yet to implement the ACB directive.

Speaking during separate interviews, both MRA Commissioner General, John Biziwick and Acting Director of Human Resources Sarah Muskambo Jere, could note be drawn to comment on the matter referring it to MRA’s director of corporate affairs Steven Kapoloma.

MRA Board Chairperson, Vizenge Kumwenda, also said he could not comment on the matter saying Kapoloma is better placed.

Ironically in the ACB report released in August last year, MRA head of corporate affairs, Steven Kapoloma was also mentioned as to have benefited from the procurement scam with his relation found to be among the non-eligible candidates.

The development has angered employees at MRA who have called on management at the revenue body to swiftly act on the ACB directive before the revenue body continueS to lose its credibility.

“As a Government institution, we are supposed to be exemplary. Our reputation has been greatly compromised since the ACB findings. To make matters worse the person entrusted to enhance our public image was also implicated in the recruitment scam.

“Most of us working at MRA really feel demotivated since the recruitment scam. Why should we adhere to integrity and work ethics when our seniors are not being exemplary?

“If we continue to loose trust with the public like this, how then would we expect the same public to entrust us with their taxes”, wondered an employee at MRA who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Investigations have also revealed that the public institution, still has officers who were are directly involved in partisan politics.

Other executives were also involved in the K5 billion worth of cement importation saga, purportedly to have been imported by former Head of State, Peter Mutharika using his duty free waiver privilege, the matter which is still in court.

There has not been an immediate comment from the ACB on what would be its next step should MRA not act on its directive.

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