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UTM Party Vehicle Issue Goes To MRA

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Gosten Chinseu who moved the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to investigate source of funding for UTM Party following alleged purchase of 44 vehicles, has now taken the matter to Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA).

In a letter to MRA dated May 13 2022, Chinseu wants to know how much tax UTM and alleged buyer of the vehicles Khwesi Msusa paid to MRA from the income they earned that spurred purchasing of the vehicles.

Flashback – A fleet of UTM vehicles: The movement says it is funded by well-wishers

It reads: “This purchase, therefore, raises serious doubts first on how the party gets funding to buy such assets and secondly, if the source of their money is taxed adequately by the Malawi Revenue Authority.

“They, being a political party that does not receive any known funding in Parliament owing to their numbers, have not yet declared to the public if they earn money from any profit making undertaking.”

Chinseu has, therefore, asked the MRA to get to the heart of the matter and probe taxation issues.

Adds the letter: “I am of the view that their assets and source of funding must be investigated exhaustively to ascertain whether they are paying the right taxes considerate to their venture.”

Chizuma: The bureau is screening two complaints

Last week, the ACB said it is examining queries from a private citizen who has questioned the source of funding for 44 new vehicles he claims UTM Party has acquired through Khwesi Msusa, a contractor and an alleged sympathiser of the party.

ACB director general Martha Chizuma said in an interview that the bureau is screening two complaints from one individual regarding UTM vehicles.

When contacted earlier for the last story on the vehicles, Msusa said: “The matter is in the hands of the ACB, and let us wait for them to do their work and they will let us know.”

UTM Party publicity secretary Frank Mwenifumbo said: “We have the ACB looking into the matter and we would want to leave it up to them. We believe in the independence of the ACB.”

Mwenifumbo: ACB is looking into the matter

Last year, UTM Party’s partner in the nine-party Tonse Alliance, Malawi Congress Party (MCP), was also at pains to explain the procurement of eight Toyota Hilux pickups and a bus, but later said the fleet was bought with proceeds from the sale of its land.

In July last year, Malawi Law Society (MLS) started a process for parties to disclose their sources of funding.

MLS asked the Registrar of Political Parties to disclose sources and amounts of money the four major political parties received between January 1 2019 and December 31 2020.

The Political Parties Act of 2018, among others, compels political parties to disclose to the Registrar of Political Parties sources of their funding and any donations

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