Malawians have demanded arrest Mapeto David Whitehead & Sons boss over tax evasion and they have bashed the company saying it is blackmailing government by threatening to fire workers.
Mapeto has threatened to fire 1000 workers in a clear attempt to stop the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) from investigating the company on claims that it imported goods worth K300 million without paying tax.
But Malawians have called out the company saying it wants to get off the hook easily. Commenting on a Malawi24 Facebook post, people said the company should be penalized and its owner prosecuted.
“Legal minds can equally capitalise on their blackmail; it should be prosecutable move. They can’t threaten to penalise innocent employees for their own sin,” said Mwakoma Gondwe.
“What nonsense!!! They want to be evading tax willy-nilly and then be treated with kid’s gloves,” said Sam Bow Thar.
Maurice Amaruh Banda said: “These guys must be penalized, they can’t use retrenchment as a threat to walk away with their wrong deeds. Some years back a certain Western company in Zambia tried to use the same strategy as well, unfortunately our neighbors were smart enough and penalize them and until they pay and they continued with their operations.”
While Chiku Jere said: “Shut the company down for tax evasion and let the new administration start from the scratch! They can’t blackmail government!”
Speaking at the Labour Day commemoration event today, Deputy Minister of Labour Vera Kamtukule said her ministry has engaged Malawi Revenue Authority over the issue.
The tax collector accuses Mapeto of importing 246 bales of Java Wax fabric, 5,300 bales of mixed rolls of fabric, different types of tyres and bales of second hand clothes without paying tax.
Over the past five years, the company’s owner Faizal Latif has been investigated in tax evasion cases involving an accumulative amount of more than K12 billion.