The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has arrested three former Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) employees on allegations of demanding bribes from a Kasungu-based taxpayer to reduce tax on his goods.
According to a statement issued yesterday by ACB principal public relations officer Egrita Ndala, the three were arrested on Wednesday following investigations that started in January this year.
She identified the three suspects as Peter Ntopa, Christopher Chidam’modzi and Francis Malunga, who were all working as tax investigations officers at the MRA head office in Blantyre.
Ndala said the bureau received an allegation on August 6 last year that the three had demanded K60 million but received K12.5 million from the taxpayer.
“The ACB conducted investigations into the matter which established that the three received K12.5 million. They are expected to be charged with corrupt practices by a public officer and corrupt use of official powers contrary to Section 24 (1) and Section 25(1) of the Corrupt Practices Act, respectively,” reads the ACB statement.
But Ndala told Weekend Nation in an interview the three were still in police custody as the bureau was finalising some issues, including interviewing them, before they are taken to court for bail consideration.
MRA corporate affairs manager Steve Kapoloma in an interview yesterday said the three were dismissed from employment after an internal investigation on the issue found them guilty.
“Actually it was MRA that reported the issue to ACB. After dismissing them we also wrote the ACB to take up the matter,” he said.
Kapoloma said the tax-collecting body usually refers all cases that have a lining towards corruption to ACB to determine whether to pursue it or not.