Government has appointed financial expert Rex Harawa as Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) board chairperson, replacing seasoned chartered insurer Eric Chapola.
Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe confirmed in an interview yesterday, saying the appointment is with immediate effect.
Harawa’s hiring comes over three months after government allegedly requested Chapola, who is chief executive officer of Nico Life Insurance Company Limited—a subsidiary of listed financial services and investment group Nico Holdings plc, to step down.
While describing Harawa as one of the country’s “highly respected accountancy professionals”, Gondwe said the new board chairperson would serve his entire term and not just finalise Chapola’s term.
Said Gondwe: “Where we wanted to test others in terms of interviewing and so forth, we had him to do that so he is the pillar of the society in as far as accounting is concerned.”
He said government expected MRA to be well organised and continue beating its tax collecting targets.
When contacted yesterday, Harawa said in a brief interview he was made aware of the appointment but “the letters are still on the way”.
In an interview with The Nation in October last year, Chapola said he resigned from his position after being asked by government to leave the public tax collector. He was appointed to the MRA board on August 8 2017.
Government’s decision to ask Chapola to resign came barely weeks after Chief Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) Lloyd Muhara terminated the contract of his sister and former first lady Callista Mutharika–the widow of former president Bingu wa Mutharika and incumbent President Peter Mutharika’s sister-in-law—over her involvement with UTM Party that is led by Vice-President Saulos Chilima.
Among others, Harawa is managing partner of AMG Global Certified Public Accountants and Business Advisors, board chairperson of Standard Bank Limited and a board member of Malawi University of Science and Technology (Must) council. He also served as board chairperson of Mzuzu University Council.
With over 15 years of professional experience as an audit and advisory partner, Harawa is a holder of PhD (Finance and Economics) from State University of New York, MA (Finance and Economics) also from State University of New York, MSc. (Economics) from London School of Economics and Political Science. He also holds B.Soc.Sc (Honors) Economics and B.Soc.Sc Economics, both from the University of Malawi. n