The Board of Commissioners of the Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) has fined four companies MK 5 million each, for supplying the market with uncertified liquor, which is likely to cause harm to consumers.
These are Chilwa Investments, S.R Distilleries, Bwenzi Group and Reddy’s Beverages Limited.
The commission has also ordered the beverage companies to cease and desist from supplying harmful and uncertified products and to conduct a thorough product recall in all retail outlets within seven days.
“If any liquor products will be found on the market, the commission will impose another fine to the offending companies,” the statement said.
The commission established that, despite being warned about the injurious nature of the products, spirits produced by the companies were readily available on the market in substantial quantities.
The public is however curious as to who exactly is going to pocket the money from the fines imposed, with some of them questioning whether the amounts can compensate for the harm the spirituous liquor might have caused to consumers.
A statement signed by the board’s Chairperson, Daniel Dunga, also shows that the commission imposed a fine of K5 million to Medical Aid Society of Malawi (Masm) for engaging in deceptive advertising.
“This followed investigations which the commission conducted on allegations that Masm published radio and newspaper advertisements stating that they had scrapped off shortfalls on medical bills to its members,” the statement said.
The commission has also ordered Masm to make full and timely disclosures to their consumers whenever there are changes to the terms and conditions governing medical insurance.
The CFTC board met in Lilongwe on August 31 where it considered and adjudicated over cases relating to unfair trading practices and anti-competitive business conduct.
In total, the commission considered and adjudicated over 26 cases, of which 20 were on unfair trading practices while the rest were on anti-competitive trade practices.
The board also resolved that Capital Oil Refining Industries Limited be fined K2 million for supplying products which do not comply with labelling standards.
The development should excite Malawians, who for long have been complaining that consumer watchdogs and government agencies are not taking tough action against companies that are violating their rights.
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