Veteran musician cum-politician Lucius Banda has trashed the decision taken by Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) to close down Times Group Media, saying the decision is political aiming at silencing government critics.

MRA closed down the media group on Friday morning due to what the body called failure to settle tax liability that accumulated to K675, 989,316.75, taxes amounting to K504, 962,332.87 and penalties that have gone together with interest amounting to K171, 006,983.89.

The tax body claimed that Times Group has been shunning paying tax since January 2011 to March 2016 a statement that is contrary to Times Group Editor in Chief George Kasakula’s confession that the media house has been paying its revenues monthly.

Writing on his official facebook page, Banda who is also Member of Parliament for Balaka North said move is a sign of dictatorship reign.

“When a dictatorship wants to silent an individual or an organisation it uses any shortcoming or weakness that, that organisation may have. This is done in order to blind the Non suspecting people into beliving that it’s because of that particular shortcoming that this has happened.

“But noooo! malawians have seen this joke several times its no longer a laughing matter…….”Times Mukutiimilira and your problem is our problem. We stand shoulder to shoulder with you. “CAN WE PLEASE DEMONSTRATE OUR LOVE AND SORIDARITY FOR TIMES BY GIVING THIS POST 5000 LIKES AS SOON AS POSSIBLE,” wrote Banda.

Meanwhile, Times Group has stopped all operations, including live broadcasts on Times Radio and Times Television, and production work on Malawi News which comes out on Saturday.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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