MisFits: Taxattar silences Seven

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Like a dark shadow lurking in the far reaches of a room, Taxattar is waiting…not only for tax evaders, but those who dare to criticize him, question his integrity, and heaven forbid, call for his resignation.

We have seen this before. A daily newspaper carried copious reports that brought his credibility into question. The publisher was then embroiled in a remigrant-duty free vehicle fiasco.

Now, more recently, young politician Double O Seven clearly got more than he bargained for. The free-speaking Attorney-at-Law lambasted Taxattar, calling for his immediate removal, citing gross unprofessionalism and misconduct. Seven bellowed, “Were I the President or were I the Minister of State, I would fire him immediately!”

Taxattar heard.

Taxattar was not amused.

But Taxattar had a potent weapon at his disposal – INFORMATION.

Smiling broadly, Taxattar leafed through the dirty laundry, usually known as the files, and rubbing his hands in glee, turned to his PR Czar – which is really a large mirror positioned on his desk, and together they crafted the response.

“Not too long ago in the past I had cause to be involved in a matter which he was alleged to have smuggled a motor cycle and was using false documents…” Taxattar proclaimed.

Seven denied the claim. The rest is public knowledge.

But the incident raises a serious and much more troubling issue.

The culture of public officials lashing out at critics and those who question them is alive and well. We saw this recently when the NCN boss saw it fit to publicly react to calls for her to resign, with the Junior Minister of Social Protection not taking kindly to words uttered by her subordinate, and now, with the head of the tax agency making the transgressions of a person who called for his resignation public.

But the Taxattar issue is a curious one. Back in September 2014, the Alliance For Change (AFC) had called for the tax boss to be sent home following reports that a number of independent media houses were being targeted by the tax agency for publishing reports that the People’s Progressive Party Civic was not happy with.

The same AFC now plays a powerful role in the new government. But Taxattar is still on the job and feels comfortable enough to continue what many perceive to be a programme of intimidation against critics.

Will this be allowed to continue?

We wait…not only to see if Taxattar will indeed remain, but after this article, for the imminent tax review on MisFits.

The more things change…

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