The Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) has slapped eight companies with a combined fine of K6.5 million for unfair trading practices.
The penalties follow investigations CFTC undertook after receiving various complaints against the companies.
The companies include Old Mutual Pension Services Limited, Peoples Trading Centre, King Steel Limited, Central Poultry Limited, ChipikuPlus, Suncrest Creameries Limited and Vanguard Life Assurance Company Limited.
The unfair trading practices include unconscionable conduct, supply of products likely to cause injury or harm to consumers, misleading conduct and insufficient labeling.
CFTC acting Executive Director Apoche Itimu said cases of consumer complaints have been on the rise in the country lately.
“The compliance rate with our directives is 80 percent to 90 percent on average because we have had few scenarios where people have challenged our decisions in court by way of appeal but they are not many cases,” she said.
In an interview, Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) Executive Director John Kapito said, apart from punishing the culprits, the CFTC should ensure consumers are protected.
Kapito believes CFTC should invade the market and find the root cause of such unfair trading practices and unconscionable conduct so that it is addressed from the bottom.
“Let us clean the market because that will help more than fining people; therefore, we need to look at what causes these behaviors and make sure that they do not happen on the market,” Kapito said.
CFTC started in 1997 with an Act of Parliament to bring sanity to the market in terms of competition and fair trading.
Justin Mkweu is a fast growing reporter who currently works with Times Group on the business desk.
He is however flexible as he also writes about current affairs and national issues.