Dear judge Mbadwa,
My lord, the news about the introduction of a virulent-abominable tax (VAT) of 16.5 on banking services (whatever that means), has attracted loudest condemnation from the people who believe authorities want to choke to death the already impoverished masses.
I don’t know whether to blame the already much- maligned cartel of banks whose appetite to make profits cannot be satiated or the Nyasaland Revenue Authority for the chaos the virulent-abominable tax has caused.
My lord, the sad thing about this VAT is the casual manner it has been handled by both bankers and the revenue authority as if the citizens they are lording over are some dirty rug they can trample on every time they want to make money.
My lord, I am appalled by the insensitive conduct of these officials who, in justifying the confusion they have created, keep on mumbling their way out on what non-banking services and their opposite really are, yet they don’t make any sense at all in their explanations.
Meanwhile, it is a client who is at the receiving end of the VAT introduction.
Jonah Kapita was actually right when he said consumers in Nyasaland are consistently complaining about high bank charges; hence, adding a virulent-abominable tax on top of that would be killing them.
Now, my lord, where does this VAT fit in the wealth creation narrative that the Tokha Alliance has been propagating?
The private sector is struggling to stay afloat because of punitive taxes they are paying to the Nyasaland Revenue Authority without receiving corresponding support to grow businesses from government.
My lord, I repeat that larger than life speeches have been made a lot about the need to “transform the economy from a predominantly importing to an industrialised and exporting one’ with little or nothing to show for.
We can’t talk about wealth creation when the government continues to milk the already thin cow called citizenry with such punitive taxes and when entities continue profiteering at the expense of a consumer. It has to do enough to empower the citizens economically.
With Emmanuel Luciano
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