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Monday, July 15, 2024

MRA Commissioner John Biziwick contract expires after serving two terms with no room of renewal

MRA Commissioner General John Biziwick: His contract has finally expired

Investigations which this publication has conducted reveals that contract for the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) Commissioner General John Biziwick has finally expired after successfully working 4 years in office.

President Lazarus Chakwera appointed Biziwick Together with two Deputy Commissioners General, Mr. Henry Ngutwa responsible for Revenue and Mrs. Agness Katsonga Phiri responsible for Administration.

We can safely confirm that Biswick cannot be appointed again as Commissioner-General since he has already served two terms.

According to the relevant laws , Malawi Revenue Authority Act. Section 17 says there shall be Commissioner General who shall serve only two terms and then go.

Section 17 (4) says “The Commissioner-General shall, subject to subsection (5), hold office for a period of four years and shall be eligible for reappointment for one additional term of four years.”

The current Commissioner General Mr John Biziwick for example, served as Commissioner General from June 2012 to July, 2014, being his first appointment. His appointment was terminated after 2 years in the office, but he was paid all his employment remuneration and benefits up to the end of the 4 years term of this first contract.

The payment of the contractual obligations by the Board, constituted him serving the first term.

This makes the appointment for the 2020-2024 one additional term of 4 years.

Therefore, when his current contract of employment expires on 13 July, 2024, Mr. Biziwick shall have served the maximum of two terms as Commissioner General; and would not be eligible for another appointment.

A good precedent is that of Mr. M.J.M Phiri. He served as first Commissioner General for the Malawi Revenue Authority, from September, 1999. In February, 2002, after 2 years, his appointment was terminated and was paid for the remainder of the term.

In 2004, MJM Phiri rejoined MRA as Commissioner General, replacing Mr. Earnest Mtingwi but after finishing his 4 years contract in 2008, he wanted another term but the Board, after seeking legal opinion on the interpretation of the MRA Act, resolved that the 2004-2008 term constituted the one additional term. He was, thus, not eligible for another appointment as Commissioner General, and Mr Muhara came in.

The legal opinion and the Board decision in respect of MJM Phiri is binding even on the present case.

The phrase “one additional term” on Section 17 sub- section 4 entails that a Commissioner General can only serve for a maximum period of two terms, totalling 8 years. The terms do not have to run continuously.

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