MRA conducts public rallies against sugar smuggling
The Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) recently held public rallies in the North, Centre and South. The exercise was aimed at creating awareness about the dangers of smuggling and conveyance of sugar and targeted key business and trading centres along the border with Mozambique and Zambia.
Speaking at Edingeni trading centre in Mzimba, Wadza Otomani, MRA Media Specialist, informed the huge crowd that MRA had observed that there were some few unscrupulous individuals who were illegally importing sugar into the country.
On this note, he reminded the people that smuggling or conveyance was a criminal offense and that anybody found doing so would be severely punished in accordance with the law.
He, therefore, reminded the audience that importation of sugar was currently restricted and required one to obtain a license from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism which hitherto the Ministry had not issued to anyone.
In this context, he appealed to the people to buy locally produced sugar that has been certified by the Malawi Bureau of Standards since it was fortified with Vitamin A.
Otomani also informed the people that smuggled sugar deprived the Government of tax revenue which was necessary for the provision of social services and development projects for the people of Malawi.
‘’If you suspect that someone is illegally smuggling or conveying sugar, you should call our toll free number 847 and you stand to win a reward of up K500, 000 if the information given leads to the recovery of revenue that would have been lost through the malpractice,’’ he added.
During the awareness campaign, MRA distributed brochures, leaflets and posters depicting messages about the dangers of smuggling or conveying sugar.
Other key business and trading centres where MRA conducted the meetings were Embangweni, Thoza, Manyamula and Jenda in the North. In the Centre, MRA covered Nkhamenya, Kasungu Boma, Kapiri, Kamwendo, Mkanda, Mchinji Boma, Namitete and Msundwe.
In the South, public rallies were held at Chitakale in Mulanje, Ndirande in Blantyre, Zalewa in Mwanza and Chiponde in Mangochi.
At the end of each public rally, MRA conducted quiz competition where winners were given prizes such as packets of Illovo sugar, water buckets and MRA calendars, among other prizes.