BLANTYRE--Bank owner and entrepreneur Thom Mpinganjira is the new chair of the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) Board after economist Dr. Charles Mataya resigned over the K30 billion scandal the tax collector got involved in.
Mataya led by example by resigning as the chair saying the tax collector didn’t consult the board in borrowing the money. He told The Nation this act made the board "reduced to a mere rubber stamp."
Mpinganjira, related to politician Brown Mpinganjira, a top official of the People's Party, is a renowned and respected financial professional and is a major shareholder of FDH bank.
Mataya was previously Principal of the Polytechnic, University of Malawi.
The man who told parliament a lie that MRA had met its revenue target, Finance Minister Ken Lipenga, is fighting for his political life as Malawians have called for his resignation or firing. Similar calls have been made for MRA Commissioner General Lloyd Muhura.
But the finance minister has refused to resign, saying he didn't knowingly make a false statement.
But there are concerns among some that Pres Joyce Banda, who retained the minister after she reshuffled the cabinet last month, is dithering over the issue. She however wants critics to slow down.
“I have instituted a committee that within one week will tell us what really happened. The Vice President will chair the committee and within one week we will be able to conclude the matter,” said Banda. “From what I hear…Minister Lipenga did not know anything on what was happening. I wouldn’t be emotional to act without finding the truth because I know when you are in such a situation when everyone thinks you are in the wrong but deep down your heart you know you are innocent.”
The country’s influential civil society has vowed to stage demonstrations if Lipenga and Muhura remain in office.
---©2012 The Maravi Post. Reproduction authorised, with usual acknowledgment