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Ministry warns against unfair trade

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The Ministry of Trade has warned businesses against what it calls unfair and uncompetitive trade practices especially among second-hand clothes traders.

In a statement, the ministry says through investigations done with the Malawi Revenue Authority and the Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC), business is marred with the practices.

The ministry says it has discovered practices such as failure to display prices on goods, discrimination against local and small-scale buyers, business opening hours, non-issuance of receipts and insufficient labelling of products.

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“The ministry reiterates its commitment to ensure all businesses are operating in a fair and conducive environment and will not hesitate to apply the relevant laws and take drastic actions against anyone found engaging in any of the above malpractices,” the statement reads.

Consumers Association of Malawi Executive Director John Kapito rated the warning as mere rhetoric.

Kapito said bodies like CFTC are mandated to act according to provisions of the law instead of just firing warning shots.

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“What we need is enforcement of laws and if our laws are weak in that particular area, we should strengthen them so that traders should not take advantage of them in future,” he said.

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