CFTC Threatens to Prosecute Traders for Withholding Maize

Written by  Tikondane Vega-Mana

Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) has warned all maize traders in the country that withholding of goods for speculative purposes is prohibited and constitutes 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).

Malonda Malonda
15
February

The commission’s warning follows its visit to 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, the commission inspectors have visited maize selling points and warehouses in Lilongwe, Mchinji and Dowa districts.


Charlotte Wezi Malonda, Executive Director of the Commission said through the inspections, the commission has noted with concern that some traders are engaged in conducts that clearly violate the Competition and Fair Trading Act and the Consumer Protection Act.


“Some of the unfair trading practices that have been reported to us 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.


“Others are giving false representation regarding the weight of maize sold to consumers and questionable conduct through charging excessive prices which are exploitative to consumers.


“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 constitutes a criminal offence,” said Malonda.


Malonda said it is also an offence for traders to use incorrect measures or weights or any other forms of misrepresentations. Likewise, Section 43 of the CFTA prohibits traders from charging excessive prices which are exploitative to consumers.


She further said CFTC is warning all maize traders in the country to cease and desist from engaging in the above conducts.


She added; “Any trader found engaging in these practices commits an offence which attracts a fine of MK500,000 or an amount equivalent to the financial gains of the offence, whichever is higher, and five year imprisonment upon conviction.

Latest

Get Your Newsletter