After launching the Tax Justice Campaign in December 2013, the Tax Justice Platform took the campaign to the districts in order to reach out to many people so that they understand the current tax regime and its implications.
The Tax Justice Platform will continue engaging the masses through well-organized road shows and other means to enhance interaction with the general public.
Malawi Economic Justice Network (MEJN) regional coordinator for the South Mike Banda says the tax justice platform team will be travelling on a caravan and will be meeting people in popular market places in some selected districts of the country.
“We will be going in trading centres especially those along the main road where we will be asking questions about tax to the people,” say Banda.
Apart from the quiz, the caravan will be playing music and will also conduct some drama to entertain as well as educate the people.
The tax justice road show is expected to go hand in hand with the Tax Justice SMS campaign where citizens of the country have an opportunity to express their views on the current tax regime and any tax injustice issue they could be facing.
In order to participate in the sms campaign, people are supposed to write “ACT” and then follow it with a message they want to send for the attention of tax justice campaign and remedies sought. The message will then have to be sent to a toll free number 4455. Upon receipt of the message it will trigger an automatic response to the sender.
“The aim is that after six months we will compile the messages and we will give them to Government so that an appropriate action is taken on the views that have been generated,” says Blessings Botha, Program manager for Action Aid.
The caravan-road show started with Blantyre, Mwanza, Lilongwe, Mchinji and Mzuzu.
The tax justice campaign, which is spearheaded by MEJN with support from ActionAid is advocating for a progressive tax regime that should help government raise its revenue than is the case. It calls for an improvement in tax administration so that many people contribute taxes required for running the state.
Furthermore, the campaign is advocating for fair taxes so that high income earners pay proportionately higher taxes than those with low income.
The campaigners are also advocating for better systems that will make sure that there is no tax evasion, tax avoidance and that potential investors are not given tax holidays when they want to start their businesses in the country.