The Malawi Police on Wednesday arrested Apostle Joseph Ziba, founder and president of Fountain of Victory International Ministries, for allegedly refusing to pay MK26 million in taxes and fines levied on his multi-million kwacha Range Rover.
Ziba, who has a massive following on social media platforms, was arrested at 4pm yesterday alongside Tayub Aziz, a Malawian of Asian origin, who is believed to be the seller of the car.
“Pastor Ziba has been charged with being found in possession of goods which are subject to customs control,” a police source closes.
According to sources, Ziba had gone to court and obtained an injunction stopping the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) from grabbing the car from him. This was against an earlier agreement for him to pay the duty.
The informant added that MRA earlier seized the car and a Toyota Fortuner from Aziz. But Aziz obtained a court injunction restraining MRA from clinging on to the cars. He later sold the Range Rover to Ziba against conditions of the injunction that barred him from disposing of the car.
“MRA vacated both injunctions and obtained a warrant of arrest against the two,” revealed the source.
Some church members and officials confirmed last night that their leader had been arrested. But, just like police and MRA officials, no one was willing to speak on record.
Blantyre police spokesperson, Augustus Nkhwazi, asked for more time to gather facts.
MRA spokesperson, Steven Kapoloma, also asked for more time when asked to confirm the arrest.
But Daily times investigations also reveal that MRA is battling a syndicate of car dealers and officers at the Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services where cars are being registered before duty is paid, resulting into the tax authority losing millions in revenue.
A well-placed source confided in us that there are over 20 vehicles on MRA’s radar in connection with tax evasion.
Just recently, Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe was forced to cut the national budget by MK9 billion as MRA failed to reach its target.