Vomi News 247
Despite Malawi having the capacity to supply cement of up to 100 000 Metric tonnes, President Peter Mutharika has imported 400 000 bags of cement worth k3.2 billion duty free from Zambia and Zimbabwe between 2018 and 2019.
While the country is intensifying Buy Malawian campaign with the local industry being able to supply any consignment of cement, Mutharika decided to abuse the presidential duty free waver.
While relevant authorities could not deny the development, the Director General of State Residences, Peter Mukhitho is reported to have asked Malawi Revenue Authorities to facilitate clearance of the cement consignment duty free.
The president is reported to have used the scarce forex to purchase the building material worth $2 240 000 (Mk1.68 billion) from PTC Zimbabwe Limited.
And in response to the state residence request MRA deputy commissioner of technical customs and exercise, Abigail Kamwamba approved the transaction and advised that the cement consignment be allowed in nto the country.
“We write to acknowledge receipt of the letter dated 21st November 2018 requesting duty free clearance of the above mentioned goods,” reads part of the response.
However, MRA head of corporate affairs Steve Kapoloma is on record telling one of the local media houses that the authority is obliged to respect taxpayer’s right to confidentiality by not disclosing individual tax affair to third parties or public.
Under Customs Procedure Code 418 of the Customs and Exercise Tarrif, the president is allowed to import goods duty free.
It is yet to be disclosed as to where and for what purpose is Mutharika using the cement for considering that he has no any building under construction apart from the flats which the first lady is constructing in down town Blantyre.