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Wednesday, 08 April 2020 06:46

CFTC moves in to protect consumers amidst Covid-19

Written by  Memory Chatonda

 

Blantyre, April 8, 2020:Competition for Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) has introduced a toll free line through which people could officially lodge complaints for action in an effort to step up market surveillance and protect consumers from unfair trading practices.

President Prof. Peter Mutharika directed CFTC Saturday in a National Address that the Commission should move in and protect consumers from unfair trade practices in light of the Covid-19, a global pandemic that has seen eight confirmed cases registering in the country.

CFTC Executive Director, James Kaphale said in an interview on Tuesday that the Commission has stepped up different measures including setting up toll free line to deal with traders exploiting consumers in the purchase of essential goods for managing Covid-19.

“Let me emphasize that the Commission will do anything within its power to fully implement the presidential directive for consumer welfare and business prosperity in the country.

“Suffice to mention that we have set up a toll free number ‘2489’ where consumers and the general public at large can lodge any complaint through TNM and Airtel platforms,” he said.

Kaphale called for concerted efforts among different stakeholders to protect consumers from any exploitation.

“Consumer protection requires concerted efforts. As such, the Commission will mobilize other statutory  regulators, Civil Society, Consumers Rights Organisations and other private sector to join hands and reach out to all corners of Malawi,” he said.

Consumer Association of Malawi (CAMA) Executive Director, John Kapito commended CFTC for setting up a toll free line, saying the initiative would ensure that consumers are protected from any form of exploitation when purchasing goods or services.

“This is a timely development in the light of Covid-19 where some traders take advantage of it to excessively raise prices of commodities on the market. I therefore urge customers to utilize the platform fully,” he said.

Recently, there were allegations that traders had excessively and unreasonably raised prices for essential goods in the management of Covid-19, including face masks, hand sanitizers, thermometers, Vitamin C and gloves which forced the Commission to cease 17 Pharmacy shops in Lilongwe and Blantyre.