Minister of Gender Patricia Kaliati has faulted some Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) officers accusing them of harassing business women at border posts.
The minister made the remarks in Lilongwe during a hand over of assorted goods from World Vision Malawi to her ministry last Friday.
“I keep on getting complaints from different women that they are being ill-treated at the borders. Instead of helping these hard working women who are also contributing to the economic development of this country, you are harassing them,” she said.
“Treat all business people equally, be it men or women, the rich or the poor, Malawians or foreigners. Everyone has to pay duty. I hear most of the vehicles belonging to foreigners receive VIP treatment at the border and are not searched, but if it is a Malawian woman driving, then you ask lots of questions,” said Kaliati.
Speaking to our FOM reporters MRA Station manager for Lilongwe office Ellard Muwa confirmed of the reports saying that there were some ‘clearing agents’ working at the border who pose as MRA officials and are tarnishing the image of the institution.
Muwa further disclosed that people mistook all personnel working at the border as belonging to MRA.
“We have different officers at the border, the police, immigration and other clearing agents and when such people indulge in unbecoming behaviour, it is the MRA officers who are labelled black,” he said.
Muwa also disclosed that meanwhile the revenue collecting body is working on a deliberate policy with the Ministry of Trade to trim numbers of border operators so as to check such malpractices.
He also asked business people who encounter any challenges with officers at the border to report such matters to the station manager.