Chilima warns Macra, MRA

UTM Party presidential candidate Saulos Chilima yesterday warned Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) and Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) against abuse of public resources to fund the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) election campaign.

Chilima, who is also the country’s Vice-President but quit DPP last June to launch his presidential bid, spoke at a rally at Naotcha Primary School ground at the end of his whistle-stop tour of Blantyre City that took him and his running mate Michael Usi to Nkolokoti, Ndirande and Mbayani townships.

Chilima during the rally at Naotcha yesterday

He said controlling officers at the two State institutions should brace themselves to account for the funds in the event of a shift of power after the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections.

Said Chilima: “Let me warn the bosses at MRA and Macra who are funding the campaign of the ruling party using what they are calling ‘special operations’ fund. We know everyone who is involved and once there is a change of government, make no mistake, those bosses will be held personally liable.”

He also claimed to be aware of other parastatals involved in the same practice and pledged to reveal their names during his forthcoming rally in Kasungu.

But in a telephone interview last evening, MRA Commissioner General Thom Malata dismissed Chilima’s accusations, saying: “We are a tax collection body and that is our core business. It is not true that we are funding any party activities. We do not have any special operations budget. There is no truth in those claims.”

Macra communications manager Clara Mwafulirwa could not be reached for comment on several attempts.

In his address, Chilima, who said the UTM Party manifesto was people-centred and designed to address the challenges faced by Malawians, did not mention how much money has been spent on the alleged practice.

Speaking earlier at the rally, UTM secretary general Patricia Kaliati said her party has resolved through its manifesto to ensure that all households have water and electricity by scrapping the connection fees.

She said: “In doing this, we are not only ensuring that each household has electricity and running water but at the same time we will be dealing with corruption that happens when people want to get connected.”

On Saturday, Chilima addressed a rally in Mulanje West Constituency after a series of other campaign meetings in Machinga and Mangochi districts last week.

Earlier yesterday, Chilima joined the Catholic faithful at Njamba Freedom Park in Blantyre in commemorating Palm Sunday which marks the beginning of a Holy Week to celebrate Jesus Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem before his death and resurrection. n

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