MRA Bows Down to Citizen Pressure in Chitipa, Removes Border Staff
Senior officers from the revenue collection body held a meeting with leaders of the concerned Chitipa citizens where the latest development was communicated.
The status quo is likely to see Malawi lose huge sums of money as cross-border traders from Tanzania are now freely crossing into Malawi with merchandise.
MRA was forced to clear its staff following violent demonstrations that the concerned citizens of Chitipa has been heralding in recent weeks.
The aftermath of the unprecedented street protests has left chain shops destroyed and looted and business halted for MRA at Mbirima border post.
MRA Director of Corporate Affairs, Steve Kapoloma, could not quantify loss incurred in taxes for the week Chitipa has been in running battles with the police that saw the intervention of the Malawi Defense Force on a number of occasions.
But leader of the concerned citizens, Dave Msongole, was over the moon about the development describing this as citizen power victory over impunity.
“We feel we have won round one of this battle. Our focus now is on forcing Roads Authority to upgrade the road to a bitumen standard,” said Msongole. He said now they are with Karonga Business Community pushing Roads Authority for a better road.
He pointed out that the closure of the MRA operations at the border post is a ‘bait’ for government to upgrade the economically viable 31 kilometre road-stretch.