By Llywellenie Mpasa
The Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) has confiscated 950 uncertified weighing devices (scales) countrywide.
The action comes amid an influx of substandard weighing scales in the country’s markets which continues to pose a challenge to the promotion of fair trade.
In Blantyre alone, MBS has confiscated 358 scales which according to the Bureau’s Public Relations Officer Monica Khombe said were from unscrupulous traders from the southern region.
“MBS has lamented the growing use of un-calibrated weighing devices by traders, observing that consumers, including farmers continue to get a raw deal when selling their farm produce,” Khombe said.
Khombe said when some scrupulous traders are buying from farmers using tampered weighing gadgets; and sell to a consumers with the same adjustable weighing gadgets to ‘dupe’ the buyer.
“You may think you are buying 5 kilogrammes, yet you are buying far less. It is a problem that is rampant and we are trying to sensitize the general public to end this unfair trade,” she said.
She however warned that those found using illegal scales will face the law.
Joyce Kalumba, a consumer from Bangwe Township in the city, said many consumers do not know or differentiate between a certified and trade approved scale and non-trade scales that traders are using.
“In a situation where there is a transaction between a buyer and seller coupled with the presence of such a scale, it is expected that either a buyer or a seller loses; hence, such transactions are earning losses for the nation,” She said.
She therefore called on MBS to intensify awareness campaigns.