Dumisani Masilela, a very principled and highly regarded Commissioner General of the Eswatini Revenue Authority(SRA) will be leaving the organization to join the International Monetary Fund(IMF).
It should be noted that even though Masilela was employed by a highly secretive and corrupt Government he strived to work with integrity and enforced revenue laws without fear or favour.
At some point Masilela was targeted by the captured media, because powerful individuals with absolute control over journalists were reluctant to pay tax and attempted to bring him down, however, he stood firmly with his integrity hence the recognition by the world.
Masilela collected billions of Emalangeni(Rands) from taxpayers and handed over the public funds to Government, unfortunately, he had no power to direct the Executive arm of Government to channel the monies for the benefit of the people.
But as an editor who was privileged to engage with SRA Commissioner at personal level, let me congratulate him for being recognized by the world, working for the IMF is a great recognition not only for Masilela but the country at large.
This recognition should be an eye opener that we have highly skilled and reputable professionals in this country, however, our country is poor because we have a Head of State who doesn’t take advice from anyone.
Indeed, the public had various complaints against the SRA but the huge outcry was perpetrated by the fact that those taxes were collected for the benefit of Mswati and his family.
At administration and law enforcement level, the revenue authority collected money from the pockets of the public and handed it over to government but instead of funding and improving social services, those funds were misappropriated.
It should be noted that paying tax is not a problem since it forms part of the social contract between the people and the Government.
However, the problem arises when an illegitimate Government with no political bound with the people collects taxes for the benefit of few individuals.
In this regard, taxes are collected and misused with impunity resulting to the current social, economic and political challenges facing our country.
But Dumisani Masilela's recognition by the IMF should be a lesson to other professionals that even if you can be surrounded by wolves, you must never allow anyone to take away your integrity, these international organizations do background checks and screening before hiring professionals.
That an international financial institution identified a sheep among wolves suggests that we have men and women of integrity within this corrupt Government, we hope some of them will learn from Masilela and refuse to go down with this Government by refusing to take corrupt decisions.
Personally, I have a serious problem with the SRA, the way they penalized us as taxpayers is matter of serious concern.
But it is important to always be objective when analysing issues, SRA is enforcing laws passed by Parliament, the blame must start where the legislation was formulated as a Bill and subsequently passed into law.
In light of the aforementioned, it is of paramount importance to state and emphasize that paying tax is never a problem in a country where the Government accounts to the people, once we fix the political problem, the monies collected by the revenue authority will benefit the citizens.