Monday, October 22, 2018
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Press Releases

PROLIFERATION OF DECEPTIVE LOTTERY SCHEMES

The Competition and Fair Trading Commission has received information that some unknown individuals are swindling consumers through lottery scams or bogus lottery schemes.

According to the information, the scammers were sending SMS or phone calls to unsuspecting consumers indicating that they have won a prize and that they have to pay money in order for them to claim their prize.

In other instances, the scammers posed as employees from certain companies advising consumers that they have won items such as iron sheets or bicycles which they could claim upon making some payments. The end result is that the alleged winners have been tricked and lost their money through payment for these nonexistent ‘prizes.’

Consumers are therefore advised to be vigilant and report suspected scammers to relevant authorities such as the Malawi Police, Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority or the Commission. The general rule is that no person can receive a prize for a competition that they did not enter in the first place.

Further, the Commission wishes to remind the general public that it is an offence, under the Competition and Fair Trading Act and Consumer Protection Act, for any person to engage in any fraudulent practices designed to exploit consumers. Any person found offering gifts or prizes with the intention to defraud consumers will be punished in accordance with the Competition and Fair Trading Act and other relevant laws.

Finally, the Commission wishes to appeal to companies, to alert the general public when their company names are being used in any form of fraudulent scams.

For more information, contact Angella Kachipapa Mhone on 01759506/7 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

CHARLOTTE WEZI MALONDA

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

DECEPTIVE CONDUCTS IN FUEL SALES

The Competition and Fair Trading Commission has received information alleging that some filling stations are duping motorists on fuel sales through deceptive conduct. 

 

According to the information, some filling station attendants were deliberately manipulating the pumps with a view to discharging less amount of fuel than ordered by motorists. In some cases, the attendants do not reset the pump at zero before discharging fuel to motorists. This amounts to deceptive conduct, which is a clear infringement of the Competition and Fair Trading Act and the Consumer Protection Act.  

 

Section 43(1)(d) of the Competition and Fair Trading Act makes it an offence for any person to engage in conduct that is likely to mislead the public as to the nature, price, availability, characteristics, suitability for a given purpose, quantity or quality of any products or service.

 

In view of this, the Commission wishes to appeal to all oil marketing companies to ensure that their filling station attendants do not engage in any form of deceptive conduct aimed at duping motorists. They must also ensure that fuel pumps are working properly and well calibrated. Appropriate penalties will be imposed on any filling station found duping consumers.

 

In the same vein, the Commission would like to appeal to motorists to be vigilant against unscrupulous filling station attendants and ensure that the pumps have been reset to zero before fuel is discharged into their vehicles.  

 

For more information, contact Mr Innocent Helema on 01759506/7 or  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

CHARLOTTE WEZI MALONDA (MRS)

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

RECENT DECISIONS BY THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF THE COMPETITION AND FAIR TRADING COMMISSION

The Board of Commissioners of the Competition and Fair Trading Commission (hereinafter referred to as ''The Commission") held its 53rd Meeting in Lilongwe on 3rd August 2018 to consider and adjudicate over cases relating to unfair trading practices, anti-competitive business conducts and mergers and acquisitions. These cases were brought before the Commission in accordance with Section 8 of the Competition and Fair Trading Act.

In total, the Commission considered and adjudicated over thirty five (35) cases of which twenty three (23) were on alleged unfair trading practices; five were on alleged anti-competitive trade practices while seven were on mergers and acquisitions.

This statement provides a summary of the Commission's determination on some of the cases.

For more information, contact Mr. Lewis Kulisewa on 0999960235 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CHARLOTTE WEZI MALONDA

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

 

SUMMARY OF THE COMMISSION’S DETERMINATION OF THE CASES

 

CASTEL GROUP MALAWI LTD FINED MK35.416 MILLION FOR SUPPLYING HARMFUL PRODUCTS

The Commission ordered Castel Group Malawi Ltd — to pay a fine of MK35.416 million for supplying the market with products likely to cause harm to consumers.

This followed an investigation which the Commission conducted which established that CASTEL Group Malawi Ltd supplied 36,000 bottles of contaminated and defective SOBO Orange Squash batches number B284, B285, B286, and B287. The Commission concluded that the defective batches of the product failed to comply with prescribed consumer safety standards in violation of section 43 (1) (e) of the Competition and Fair Trading Act which prohibits manufacturers from supplying products which were likely to cause injury to health or physical harm to consumers.

The Commission further concluded that, following the discovery of the defective product, the company did not make timely communication to inform consumers about defect and the steps they needed to take to dispose off the product. That delay further endangered the health of consumers.

In line with Section 51 of the Competition and Fair Trading Act, the Commission imposed a fine amounting to the financial gain generated by the offence to be paid within 30 days. Finally, the Commission ordered Castel Group to develop an appropriate product recall mechanism that prioritises consumer interests.

 

CASTEL GROUP MALAWI LTD FINED MK500,000.00 FOR SUPPLYING PRODUCTS CONTAINING FOREIGN OBJECTS

The Commission ordered Castel Group Malawi Ltd — to pay a fine of MK0.5 million for supplying the market with products containing foreign objects likely to cause harm to consumers.

This followed an investigation which the Commission conducted which established that CASTEL Group Malawi Ltd supplied three different products containing foreign objects. The affected products were: Cocacola, Sprite and Carlsberg Chill. The presence of the foreign objects on the three complaint products was confirmed by the Malawi Bureau of Standards as well as the manufacturer.

The Commission concluded that the three complaint products failed to comply with prescribed consumer safety standards in violation of section 43 (1) (e) of the Competition and Fair Trading Act which prohibits manufacturers from supplying products which were likely to cause injury to health or physical harm to consumers.

In line with Section 51 of the Competition and Fair Trading Act, the Commission imposed a minimum fine of MK500,000.00 to be paid within 30 days.

 

PEOPLES TRADING CENTRE FINED MK500,000.00 FOR MISLEADING CONDUCT

The Commission ordered Peoples Trading Centre to pay a fine of MK0.5 million for engaging in misleading conduct with regard to pricing of chickens.

This followed an investigation which the Commission conducted which established that, in December 2017, the price tags on frozen chickens at Peoples Supersave in Lilongwe were different from the prices displayed at the till. The Commission also established that the price differences, which caused consumer harm, were due to negligence.

The Commission concluded that this was a clear infringement of Section 43(1)(d) of the Competition and Fair Trading Act which prohibits traders from engaging in any conduct likely to mislead the public as to the nature, price, availability, characteristics, suitability for a given purpose, quantity or quality of any products or services.

In line with Section 51 of the Competition and Fair Trading Act, the Commission imposed a minimum fine of MK500,000.00 to be paid within 30 days.

 

ALLEGED UNCONSCIONABLE CONDUCT BY MULTICHOICE MALAWI LTD THROUGH QUOTING IN FOREIGN CURRENCY WITHOUT AUTHORISATION

The Commission adjourned the matter to a later date pending the conclusion of ongoing settlement discussions between the parties.

 

ACQUISITION OF CROWN POULTRY LTD BY CENTRAL POULTRY (2000) LTD

The Commission authorised the acquisition of Crown Poultry Ltd by Central Poultry Ltd.

This followed an application for the authorisation of the transaction in line with Section 35 of the Competition and Fair Trading Act.

The Commission noted that both companies are involved in the production and supply of poultry products, namely broilers (live and dressed chickens) and table eggs. In addition, Central Poultry was involved in the production and supply of chicken feed and day old chicks. The Commission noted that Crown Poultry was a strong competitor in the Southern Malawi while Central Poultry had market dominance in the Central and Northern Malawi.

The Commission found Crown Poultry was facing financial difficulties. Further the Commission found that the transaction would enhance the market dominance of Central Poultry in the production and supply of table eggs and broilers at national level. This was highlighted by the Small Scale Poultry Association which raised strong objections to the authorisation, citing concerns that Central Poultry was already a dominant player that was crowding out small scale poultry producers through its mobile vans.

However, the Commission observed that the transaction would help save Crown Poultry from collapsing which would have resulted in massive job losses and elimination of a competitor.

After thorough assessment of the information submitted by the parties, the Commission authorised the transaction subject to Central Poultry reviewing its distribution arrangements for live chickens. Other undertakings are as follows:

  1. That Central Poultry should maintain employment of the existing staff at any of the two entities as a result of the acquisition.
  2. That Central Poultry enters into a Memorandum of Undertakings with the Commission and commits to a customised compliance programme.

COMMENCEMENT OF INVESTIGATIONS INTO ALLEGED PYRAMID SELLING BY ALLIANCE IN MOTION GLOBAL IN MALAWI

Notice is hereby given to interested stakeholders and the public that the Competition and Fair Trading Commission has commenced investigations against Alliance in Motion Global (AIM Global) and other associated enterprises on allegations of engaging in pyramid selling of goods and services.

This investigation follows information which the Commission received alleging that various individuals and business enterprises operating under the banner of Alliance in Motion Global, are engaged in the conduct of setting up and promoting pyramid selling schemes in the country. Pyramid selling is a fraudulent scheme for the sale or lease of a product whereby one person pays a fee to participate in the scheme and receives the right to receive a fee, commission or other benefit, for simply recruiting members into the scheme.

The Competition and Fair Trading Commission is interested in the matter as it appears to raise serious concerns under the Competition and Fair Trading Act (CFTA) and the Consumer Protection Act (CPA).

It should be noted that commencement of investigation does not presuppose that any of the enterprises under investigation have violated the law. The Commission will, in accordance with Section 8(2) of the Competition and Fair Trading Act, conduct an investigation to determine whether or not the alleged conduct has violated the law. In particular, the purpose of the investigation is to establish the following:

  1. Whether or not, Alliance in Motion Global is setting up and promoting pyramid schemes in Malawi.
  2. Whether or not, the alleged pyramid selling of goods and services by Alliance in Motion Global violates the Competition and Fair Trading Act and Consumer Protection Act.

In view of this, the Commission hereby invites all interested stakeholders and the public to submit any information they may have on the pyramid schemes allegedly run by Alliance in Motion Global or associated enterprises. Submissions may include information on the following:

  1. what type of pyramid schemes are on the market;
  2. which products (goods or services) are involved in the schemes;
  3. which individuals/enterprises are involved setting up and promoting pyramid schemes (names, postal address, physical address, phone numbers etc

The submissions can be made using the address below:

The Executive Director, Competition and Fair Trading Commission, Mpikisano House, Behind NBS Bank, Area 4, Private Bag 332, Lilongwe

Telephone: +265 1 759 506/507;

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The information you will make available to the Commission shall be treated with the strictest confidentiality and will only be used for the purpose of this investigation. If you wish to seek further details and/or clarification on any aspect of this investigation, you may get in touch with Mr Augustine Nyirenda on 0999830855 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CHARLOTTE WEZI MALONDA

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

COMMEMMORATION OF THE 2018 WORLD CONSUMER RIGHTS DAY

15th March every year is World Consumer Rights Day. This is the Day that consumer protection agencies advocates for consumer rights such as the right to choose, right to safety, right to be informed, right to redress, right to environmental health and right to consumer education among others.

 

This year, the Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC), a Government agency mandated to promote competition and protect consumers from unfair trading practices, will lead Malawian in commemorating World Consumer Rights Day under the theme “Consumer Rights in Financial Services”.

 

The theme is deemed appropriate for Malawi since the country is currently experiencing a boom in financial services such as mobile money transfers, auto teller machines, mobile bill payments, point of sale (POS) transactions and online shopping.

 

In accessing these services, consumers face a number of challenges. These include: multiple service charges, unrealistically high bank charges, accounts not debited upon undertaking a transaction, clients not receiving the money once transferred, ATMs not dispensing cash but yet deducting from the account, transactions not taking place because of weak networks, lack of agents and infrastructure in rural areas etc.

 

The Commission will therefore take the commemoration of this year’s World Consumer Rights Day to highlight the rights of financial services consumers and the available redress mechanisms when their consumer rights have been violated.

 

The main event to commemorate World Consumer Rights Day will be in Mzuzu on 16th March 2018. During the event, activities will include a consumer parade within the City, consumer storming in the major townships - Zorozoro, Luwinga, Chibabvi and Masasa; traditional dances, poetry recitals and music.

 

Speakers will include the Director of Trade in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism Mrs Christina Chatima and the Executive Director of the Competition and Fair Trading Commission, Mrs Charlotte Wezi Malonda.

 

For more information, contact Mr Innocent Helema on 0880725075 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Charlotte Wezi Malonda

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

ESTABLISHMENT OF A REGIONAL OFFICE IN BLANTYRE

The Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) wishes to inform the business community and consumers that it has opened a Regional Office in Blantyre. The offices are situated in the New Government buildings, 3rd Floor, Right Wing in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism offices.

 

The Regional Office will register and process consumer complaints with a view to providing remedies provided under the Competition and Fair Trading Act (CFTA) and the Consumer Protection Act (CPA). Additionally, the office will also support the business community in the promotion of voluntary compliance with CFTA and CPA.

 

In view of this, the Commission wishes to appeal to consumers and the business community in Blantyre and the surrounding districts to make use of our Regional Office in the South to access our services.

 

If you have any consumer or competition related complaints or queries, you may visit our offices or get in touch with Lusungu Sanga on 0882889521 and email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 

However, the postal and physical address for the Secretariat remains the same. The Executive Director, 1st Floor Mpikisano House, Off Mandala Street, P/Bag 332, Lilongwe 3; Tel: +2651759506/7; Toll Free Line (MTL): 80008333

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

CHARLOTTE WEZI MALONDA

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

 

SOUTH AFRICA RECALLS POLONY AND OTHER PROCESSED MEAT PRODUCTS

The Competition and Fair Trading Commission wishes to inform the general public that health authorities in South Africa have ordered an immediate recall of ALL processed meat products produced in South Africa. (Source: https://www.enca.com/south-africa/supermarkets-begin-mass-meat-recall)

According to published media reports, the recalled products are processed meat products that are sold ready to eat (also known as polony), which are produced by Tiger Brands Unit - Enterprise Food and RCL Foods. These products are sold within South Africa as well as exported to other countries.

Read more...

CFTC WINS 2018 WORLD BANK / ICN COMPETITION ADVOCACY CONTEST

The World Bank Group and the International Competition Network (ICN) has named the Competition and Fair Trading Commission of Malawi as winner of the 2017/18 Competition Advocacy Contest.


Held under the theme “Closing the gap through competition advocacy: microeconomic policies, macroeconomic implications”, the contest was aimed at highlighting the key role competition agencies play in promoting competition by showcasing their advocacy success stories. 

The CFTC entry into the competition advocacy contest was a story that underlined the importance competition authorities play in ensuring that the effects of trade protection measures benefit competition and ultimately safeguard consumer welfare, with a case study of the cement industry in Malawi.

The CFTC intervention in the cement industry in Malawi contributed to the prevention of the establishment of import barriers to cement.

Making the announcement, Martha Martinez Licetti, Global Lead on Markets and Competition Policy at the World Bank Group, said the CFTC's advocacy story was selected as Winner under the theme “Reaping the benefits of globalisation and trade openness”.

Licetti said:

“This is a great story in a key market that is typically subject to competition issues. Your intervention illustrates the benefits of the involvement of competition authorities in the decision on trade protection measures, and the importance both locally and regionally. Great example to share in the region and beyond. Well-deserved and keep up the good work.”

Reacting to the announcement, CFTC Executive Director, Charlotte Wezi Malonda said she was delighted with the recognition which she described as a big victory.

Malonda said the entry of foreign companies in the cement industry led to relatively lower prices as consumers enjoyed the benefits from economies of scale and efficient production systems.

Other winners in the competition from a total of 50 entries from 30 jurisdictions include the United Kingdom, Kenya, Brazil, Russia and Argentina while the European Competition Commission and Mexico received an honorable mention.

This is the third time that the World Bank and the ICN have recognized the CFTC in its role in safeguarding competition. In 2015 and 2016, the CFTC was awarded for its role in safeguarding competition in the sugar and credit referencing markets.

Locally, last year, the CFTC was awarded for its outstanding public service delivery for the second year running. The Commission has also received other performance related awards from the Anti Corruption Bureau and the Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI).

For more information, contact Mr. Innocent Helema on 0880725075 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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