Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) has expressed concern over attacks against its officers when they are on duty operating in the country’s border areas.
This was brought forward during a two -day 2023/24 New Tax Measures Media Training which MRA conducted in collaboration with Association of Business Journalists in Mangochi.
In his remarks, Head of Corporate Affairs at MRA Steven Kapoloma said the issue of attacks happens because the smugglers who use uncharted routes give money to members of the communities living alongside those routes and if the officers are intesifying operations in the routes they end up being attacked.
Kapoloma added that the public should be aware that their role is to ensure that goods that are coming in the country should be using normal routes because if the smugglers continue using uncharted routes the country will be losing a lot of revenue.
“What happens is when we are chasing the smugglers, when we are chasing thes tax evaders, instead of the community supporting our work, they now go ahead and support the smugglers.
“Currently, we have put three Initiatives to make sure that community and MRA are on the same page. First one is education. We want to make sure that communities are aware of the dangers of smuggling.
“We want to show them that these goods that are are being smuggled in the country are also harmful and they can bring unknown diseases. Second one is to make sure that we are able to provide financial support to the community because we were only promising them better roads, hospitals and medicine but sometimes the communities want something that is immediate so what we are doing now is to come up with a program.
“We should be able to reward the communities that are able to support us by informing us about the smugglers,” he explained.
He went on to say that they are working with Malawi Police Service (MPs ), Malawi Defence Force (MDF) and neighboring countries to ensure that they are able to deal with smuggling.
On his part, president of Association of Business Journalists (ABJ) Vincent Khonyongwa assured the authorities who were present at the training that ABJ will work tirelessly with MRA so that the general public at large should be reliable to them .
He then commended MRA for the long partnership with the media which he said has been exposing the members of the press.
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