Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) who partnered the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) for a public tax compliance campaign have said they are making progress in the campaign.
At a review meeting of the campaign in Blantyre last week, where MRA officials met members of the CSOs, there was a consensus that the campaign was successful, but the CSOs also expressed interest on the need to make the campaign an ongoing activity.
MRA launched ‘Everyone Must Pay Tax Campaign’ early February, which ran up to end of April and the public tax collector directly engaged CSOs, the media and businesses to help it educate people on tax provisions, processes and procedures to comply with revenue laws and support domestic tax mobilisation.
CSOs involved in the campaign included Civil Liberties Committee (Cilic), Malawi Economic Justice Network (Mejn), Congress for NonGovernmental Organisations, Youth Consultative Forum, Youth and Society and CCAP Livingstonia Synod.
Margaret Alli, a board member of Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRCC which led the CSOs in the campaign, said they felt there was a role they needed to play in the exercise.
“We have to ensure that people pay taxes. We are ears and eyes of the people out there. At the same time, we also have to make sure that as CSOs, there are proper accounting systems in government,” said Alli.
She said officials that abuse public resources must face the law to instill public trust of people privileged to govern the nation.
Taxpayer education manager McHizzal Kawanga said in a Malawi scenario, where there were no donors around for a long time to support the country’s national budget, there was a need for everyone to pay tax.
Kawanga agreed with the CSOs on the need to make the campaign an ongoing activity, adding that they could not have reached out to everyone across the nation in the three months of the campaign.