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MRA tightlipped on ‘missing’ cars

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Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) yesterday could not explain if it was aware that some of its vehicles were missing as alleged by some quarters on social media who posted that posh vehicles which the tax collector procured disappeared into thin air.

MRA Director of Corporate Affairs Steve Kapoloma asked for more time before commenting on the allegations, saying he needed to make some consultations.

“I am also just reading that on social media. But I have to check with our Head of Administration on whether the vehicles were indeed bought by MRA. If they were indeed bought by MRA, we have to find out where they are or whether they are being used by other institutions,” Kapoloma said.

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Sources at the revenue collector have confided in us that MRA has been buying vehicles since 2014 with the vehicles ending up being used by unidentified people within the ranks and file of the government.

For instance, according to our sources, a Toyota TX Registration Number BS 5858 used by the former Commissioner General was meant to be sold by tender.

“But no one knows how the whole process was handled. We were just told that the vehicle was being wanted at Sanjika Palace and it was gone. This is the same way one former official here Buxton Kayuni lost his Toyota Prado TX in 2014,” the source said.

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Kayuni confirmed that his car was confiscated and that he does not know what happened to it and that he has never seen it again.

The social media has been awash with lists of vehicles which were allegedly bought by MRA but cannot be traced.

Reports indicate that one of the vehicles on the list a Toyota Prado TX Registration Number BW 689 was found abandoned at Mount Pleasant in Blantyre.

“We have never seen these cars so the assumption here is that some people up there buy the cars in the name of MRA. You also find that on the said list, the so-called missing cars are Toyota Prados, which is abnormal and most of the directors and heads here already have vehicles. It is surprising where these vehicles were being taken to,” the source said.

Meanwhile, civil society organisations have urged the government to swiftly act on all the information of looting and abuse of public resources so that those implicated are brought to justice.

MRA is said to be one of the most abused institutions in terms of resources and political interference. President Lazarus Chakwera recently announced that he had replaced the Commissioner General and his two deputies at the tax collector because the institution needs some immediate cleansing.

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