MRA, Tycoon tussle over K17BN Tax bill

February 8, 2014 • Front Page, National News • Written by :

His indulgence sought: Kamanga

His indulgence sought: Kamanga

A Blantyre businessman and his partners are challenging a K16.7 billion (US$39 952 153) tax bill the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) slapped on them after allegedly not paying tax.

The businessman, Abdul Batatawala and his business partners, Pamodzi Settlement Trust and Reliance Trading Limited, have since applied for a judicial review in the High Court in Zomba.

According to court documents, MRA obtained a search warrant from Blantyre Resident Magistrate’s Court in July to search the business premises of Batatawala at Makata Industrial Area after which it seized documents and computers which helped it come up with the tax bill that has accrued from principal, interest and penalties.

But the businesspersons on January 27 this year obtained a court order also from Blantyre Resident Magistrate’s Court, ordering MRA to immediately release all business records, books of accounts and any other documents that were taken by MRA.

“The respondents (the businesspersons) shall at all times during working hours allow the applicant (MRA) reasonable access to the said documents should the applicant need the said documents in furtherance of the tax investigations herein,” reads the order in part.

But in a twist, lawyer representing Batatawala, Frank Mbeta , on Novermber 30, 2013 wrote the Attorney General (AG) Antony Kamanga stating that his client was contracted to supply assorted items to the Malawi Defence Force, Malawi Police Service, Malawi Prison Service and Immigration Department but they have not taken delivery of the goods.

“The goods were specially made for the departments’ use and they were manufactured to suit the specifications and needs of the particular respective departments.

“The goods were duly cleared duty free by the respective departments. However, the Malawi Defence Force, Malawi Police Service and the Immigration Department have not taken delivery of the goods despite several reminders,” the lawyer wrote.

Mbeta stated that the value of the undelivered goods are in excess of K3 billion (US$7 177 033).

“Our client would also like to assign the sums due for the undelivered goods to MRA upon delivery of the goods to the respective departments.

“We thus seek your indulgence for all the said departments to take delivery of the goods…kindly be advised that should those departments fail or neglect to take delivery of the goods, we shall seek an order for specific performance and other ancillary reliefs against the Malawi Government as an effective remedy in the circumstances,” the letter reads.

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6 Responses to MRA, Tycoon tussle over K17BN Tax bill

  1. Danny Mphinji says:

    This stinks thefty, by who? Everybody can make a calculated guess.

  2. John Banda says:

    This stinks. Batatawala and his friends are running a very sophisticated scam. This qualifies as Batatawal Gate. Some indians are screwing unsuspecting docile Malawians. This crap has to stop, otherwise, we will forever remain on the lust of poorest countries, forever.

    MRA show no pity on these crooks.

    ACB pursue these indians and their Malawian partners.

  3. pitala paulendo says:

    Batatawala and his fellow crooked Asians have been slaughtering our economy for a very long time. Unfortunately, a few selfish and corrupt individuals in the Government institutions have been proxies. It is very pathetic that even our highest Authority is just after personal enrichment. Instead of repossessing the houses that were procured dubiously by Peter Mutharika and his DPP Party, Joyce Banda has joined the same ransacking bandwagon by occupying Blantyre City Assembly CEO. At the rate of leadership style that Malawi has, what will happen to our mother Malawi fifty years down the line??? When will our Judiciary send a stern lesson to the real corrupt and not just the goat and chicken thieves??? When will our Legislature be sober and handle their duties by enforcing accountability???
    Please, let us all unite and stop this senseless massacring of the poor people in the village, that is the only way we can claim development. And this can only start from the Executive Branch of Government.

  4. Jb son says:

    Batatawala is Lutepos good friend. These 2 ordered the killing of Paul Mphwiyo. He is also good friend dama Phoya

  5. loveness says:

    it serves him right. but will anything come out of this will it not die like the siku saga. this indians are well connected maybe MRA has deliberately exposed so that they can make money out of this. surely JB and her so called government officials together with MRA are planning how to fool the nation on this batatawala gate issue. money is exchanging already. top officials have been given vehicles and millions of kwachas to clear. and soon we will read in the papers of another window for batatawala. shame on our government and its system.

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