By Staff Reporter
A concerned citizen has reported UTM party and it’s leader Saulosi Chilima to the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) over procurement of 44 vehicles.
Gosten Chinseu has written Commissioner General requesting him to investigate taxation of UTM assets.
In the letter titled “REQUEST TO INVESTIGATE TAXATION OF UTM ASSETS”
Chinseu requests MRA commisioner general to investigate the UTM assets.
“I write to request that the Malawi Revenue Authority commences investigations around UTM and its leader, Dr Saulos Klaus Chilima, in view of the party’s newly-acquired assets and all taxation issues related to the same,” reads the letter in part.
Chinseu said the request emanates from recent revelations that the party has acquired 200 brand new vehicles, 44 of which have been registered in the name of Mr. Khwesi Msusa, a close confidant of Dr. Chilima.
“Refer to the story published on 8 May 2022; ACB moves on ‘UTM Party vehicles
The Nation Online (mwnation.com). Primarily and most importantly, I would like to know how much tax UTM or Mr. Msusa paid to Malawi Revenue Authority from the income they earned that spurred to buy the said cars,” says Chinseu.
He says since news started making rounds that the party has purchased the vehicles worth close to K3billion, there have been calls from several quarters of society for authorities to revisit the requirement for all registered political parties to declare the source of the funding.
Chinseu says Parliament enacted the Political Paties Act which calls for audited
financial accounts for all parties that have a one-tenth threshold in Parliament.
“Funding of political parties is in line with Section 40(2) of the Constitution and should, therefore, form part of our political culture as a country without compromise.
As a concerned and enlightened citizen I fully understand that currently UTM, owing to their numerical representation in Parliament, does not fall in the bracket of receiving funding from government,” Chinseu explains.
He says this means that UTM’s finances cannot be audited as stipulated in the Political Parties Act but at the same time their accumulation of assets and resources should still be scrutinized
by other agencies of Government.
“This purchase therefore raises serious doubts first on how the party gets funding to buy such assets and secondly if the source of their money is taxed adequately by the Malawi Revenue Authority,” he says.
He said being a political party that does not receive any known funding in Parliament owing to their numbers, have not yet declared to the public if they earn money from any profit-making.
He said: “l am of the view that their assets and the source of it must be investigated exhaustively to fully ascertain whether they are paying the right taxes commensurate to their venture. It is my understanding that one of the functions of MRA is to take necessary measures as may
be required to counteract tax fraud and other forms of fiscal evasion.”
Chinseu says in view of the above, MRA- as an agency of the Government of Malawi
responsible for assessment, collection and accounting for tax revenues-to institute a serious investigation so as to have this matter addressed in accordance to the purpose and functions of organization.