MASERU — Mazenod High School last Friday won M5 000 and a floating trophy in a debating competition organised by the Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA).
Leribe English Medium School came second and walked away with M3 000 while Soofia English Medium High School came third pocketing M2 000 in the process.
Eight high schools from Leribe, Butha-Buthe, Thaba-Tseka, Quthing, Mohale’s Hoek, Mafeteng, Mokhotlong and Maseru took part in the contest.
The topic for debate was: Turnover tax should be used in Lesotho.
LRA public relations manager Pheello Mphana said the eight made it to the finals after knocking off 231 schools at district level.
“We had 231 schools from eight districts debating on the nature and importance of tax so we decided to elevate the topic to tax systems,” Mphana said.
“This exercise is meant to promote a culture of voluntary tax compliance among Basotho and we saw the need to bring the education at grassroots level.”
He said the debating competition was one of the LRA’s strategies to educate people on issues of taxation.
“We believe that engaging high school students who will soon go to university and into the working environment will make it easier for future compliance of paying tax because they engage in research to help understand the topics debated.”
Mphana said the LRA is working with the Ministry of Education and Training in organising the competitions.
Speaking at the award ceremony, the commissioner of taxpayer services, Maleshoane Molakabi, said the debate was meant to educate Basotho on issues of tax administration. “This is an attempt to expand the knowledge of tax to improve the tax administration for the betterment of the country’s economy,” Molakabi said.
Queenett Nwahara from Soofia English Medium High School in Butha-Buthe won the best overall while Lebohang Khoanyane from Leribe English Medium High School was named second.
Darlyn Tzorh of Mazenod High School came third.
The top three winners of the competition will each have their school fees paid in full for the whole year by the LRA.
LRA Commissioner General Thabo Letjama said the debating competition was one key way of improving knowledge about tax compliance.