CFTC warns unscrupulous maize traders

By: Geoffrey Banda Jnr

The Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) has warned of fining or arresting maize traders in the country who indulge in unfair trading practices.

CFTC said in statement signed by Executive Director, Charlotte Wezi Malonda following inspections to maize selling points in Lilongwe, Mchinji and Dowa districts over the past two days.

Charlotte Wezi Malonda
Malonda, maize shouldn’t be withheld 

During the inspections, the Commission visited privately owned and ADMARC warehouses as part of a monitoring exercise for the availability and accessibility of maize to consumers.

According to the statement some of the unfair trading practices include withholding maize supplies or hoarding with the intention of triggering a price increase, use of incorrect measures or weights with a view to deceive or mislead consumers, false representation regarding the weight of maize sold to consumers and unconscionable conduct through charging excessive prices which are exploitative to consumers

During the inspections, the Commission visited privately owned and ADMARC warehouses as part of a monitoring exercise for the availability and accessibility of maize to consumers.

Over the past two days, our inspectors have visited maize selling points and warehouses in Lilongwe, Mchinji and Dowa districts.

“In view of these findings, the CFTC would like to warn all maize traders in the country that withholding of goods for speculative purposes is prohibited and constitute a criminal offence under Section 43(1)(g) of the Competition and Fair Trading Act (CFTA) and Section 6 of the Consumer Protection Act (CPA).

“The CFTC would, therefore, like to warn all maize traders in the country to cease and desist from engaging in the above conducts. Any trader found engaging in these practices commits an offence which attracts a fine of MK500,000.00 or an amount equivalent to the financial gains of the offence, whichever is higher, and five year imprisonment upon conviction”, reads part of statement.

CFTC also further reminding people in the country that it is offence for traders to use incorrect measures or weights or any other forms of misrepresentations.

Competition and Fair Trading Commission is a body mandated for protecting consumers from unfair trading practices in Malawi

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