The Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) on 4th and 5th September 2019 organized two taxation workshops with chiefs in Traditional Authority (TA) Katuli area in Mangochi.
The main objective of the workshops was to rally support from the traditional leaders to support MRA root out smuggling that is on the increase in the area.
Speaking during the workshops, Manager Taxpayer Education, Mc Hizzal Kawanga, informed the chiefs that the country is losing a lot of revenue due to rampant smuggling perpetrated by unscrupulous traders who are using the area as a conduit for smuggling.
‘’This has resulted in Government not implementing various development projects such as health, education and other socio economic facilities in the area and the country as a whole,’’ he added.
In this regard, Kawanga urged the chiefs to be vigilant against smugglers who come from far areas and use their areas to illegally import goods into the country.
Chiefs listening attentively during the workshop
Smuggling has a corrosive effect on the economy because people resort to buying smuggled goods which is usually cheap because they are expired or of low quality resulting in closure of many manufacturing companies in the country.
‘’Do you want local companies to collapse because of these substandard goods at the expense of creating employment for your school going children?’’ he challenged.
He, therefore, appealed to the traditional leaders to seal all their areas so that smuggling and conveyance of goods is curtailed and also report suspected cases of smuggling using the available toll free line.
In her remarks, the Manager Marketing communications, Wilma Chalulu told chiefs to suggest development projects that MRA may support as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
In his welcoming remarks, Sultan TA Katuli thanked MRA for coming to educate the chiefs about taxation more especially on legal implications of aiding or sheltering smugglers. He assured MRA that his area will be sealed so that smugglers have no room to run in his area.
The two meetings attracted over one hundred chiefs that included Group Village Headmen and village headmen.
Katuli area shares boundary with Mozambique from where different goods are smuggled into Malawi.
Station Managers from Chiponde Customs, Andrew Mbewe and Mangochi Domestic Taxes Office, Mavuto Mapira attended the two meetings.
BY SYMON MAGURU