Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament says it will soon call tea and macadamia estate owners to appear before the committee following concerns that the companies do not disclose their proceeds.
On Tuesday 30th November 2021, CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa asked Public Accounts Committee Chairperson Shadric Namalomba to investigate and summon tea and macadamia estate owners in Thyolo, Mulanje, and Nkhatabay over their failure to disclose information on proceeds from these estates.
According to Namiwa, some estate owners signed a memorandum of understanding with Malawi Government never to pay tax contrary to the laws of the Country.
PAC chairperson Namalomba confirmed to Malawi24 that he has received the letter and as PAC they have decided to summon the tea and macadamia estate owners to appear before the committee.
“Let me confirm to Malawians that indeed we have received a letter from CDEDI requesting our committee Public Accounts Committee to summon the players in the tea and macadamia industry to appear before the committee specifically for a number of issues.
“One is that they should account for the profits when they grow the tea and macadamia. They use resources like land and they employ people that work on that land and on tea and macadamia estates they use machinery and then they export the tea or macadamia and then the question in the letter that has come to us to get to the bottom of this is when you sell the tea are you bringing the profits here in the country and if you are bringing how much is it?.
“When you consider with the displacement that has occurred in those areas that people are there but they are not getting much from the investment, but look at land. So, they have written us to go that route but also talking about social corporate responsibility would want to engage them to explain to Malawi through our committee their budgeting, their expenditure with regard to responsibility around the communities which they are operating,” said Namalomba.
He added that after receiving the letter from CDEDI as per procedure, he consulted all members of Public Accounts Committee and majority of the members accepted to proceed to invite the tea and macadamia operators. So as PAC, they will proceed and Malawians should expect that come January when they reconvene committee meetings they will attend to this issue.
He also added that PAC will also invite MRA to appear before the committee to explain more regarding the issue.