Enterprising Fadeth Furnishers Managing Director, Richard Chirwa, has found himself on the wrong side of the law after threatening Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) officers with a gun and obstructing them from inspecting Electronic Fiscal Devises (EFD) at his Fadeth Furnishers Showroom in Blantyre.
Chirwa is co-owner of Fadeth Furnishers, a wholly Malawian owned company that is producing high quality household and office furniture.
A search warrant dated December 3, 2015 shows that on November 25, 2015, Chirwa allegedly contravened Section 51 of the Value Added Tax (VAT) after he abused MRA EFD inspectors, threatened them with a pump action rifle and refused to allow them access to inspect fiscal receipts printed from the company’s EFD devise.
In his affidavit, the MRA officer Craig Dzineso, said on the day, he found a truck belonging to Fadeth Furnishers which was about to leave for Lilongwe to deliver goods to customers.
He said that he demanded to see a copy of the fiscal receipt or delivery note accompanying the goods but that the sales lady at the company stated that there was none of such documents available.
Dzineso says suspecting that the transaction was suspicious, he called his colleague and together demanded to retrieve an X report from the taxpayer’s EFD machine but it was at that point that Chirwa allegedly arrived with a black and silver pump action rifle with a single barrow, accompanied by his body guard asking to meet the officers in private in his office.
In the affidavit, Dzineso says after the officer explained to Chirwa about the inspection of the documents, Chirwa became furious and shouted on top of his voice ordering them out of his office, whilst calling them names and slamming his fist on his desk after which he took his rifle, clocked it and pointed it at the officers.
Chirwa was expected to appear before the Blantyre Magistrates Court on December 4, 2015 to answer charges of obstructing officers of MRA contrary to Section 51 of the Value Added Act.
But Chirwa denies the offence saying he was not obliged to issue a fiscal receipt for goods that were not sold but rather being dispatched to his Lilongwe showroom.
He refused to comment on allegations that he threatened MRA officers with a hand gun.
Commenting on the matter, MRA deputy director of corporate affairs Steve Kapoloma said by obstructing the officers chirwa committed an offense under the VAT Act.
“When we do inspections, we just want to make sure that traders are complying with the law and the shop owner is not supposed to obstruct an officer or threaten them because if they do that, it is a violation of the law,” he said.
The EFD requirement makes it mandatory for every VAT operator to issue electronically generated fiscal receipts
The VAT act stipulates that any person who violates any obligation as a user or local supplier under these regulations shall be liable to a penalty imposed by the Commissioner General of K500,000.
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