The Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC), Malawi’s competition authority, on February 18 2016 delivered a public lecture on competition and consumer protection at Chancellor College in Zomba.
The lecture at Chancol, one of the elite colleges in Malawi which has produced most of the countries lawyers and economists, is part of a series of public lectures targeting tertiary institutions.
Among other issues, the lecture focused on regulatory role of the Commission, CFTC’s investigative function, the adjudicative role of its Commissioners and penalties under the Competition and Fair Trading Act (CFTA).
Speaking during the lecture, CFTC Executive Director, Charlotte Wezi Malonda said the CFTA is an Act which aims to encourage competition in the economy by prohibiting anti-competitive trade practices and to protect consumer welfare.
“The overall function of the Commission is to regulate, monitor, control and prevent acts or behaviour which are likely to adversely affect competition and fair trading in Malawi,” Said Malonda.
She added that the authority also carries out investigations on its own initiative or based on complaints, provides advisory role on rights and duties, educates consumers and undertakes market studies.
Among others, the students present during the lecture were interested to know how the Commission acts against unfair trading practices in rural areas. The students were also interested to know how the CFTC looks at the banning of sachets of alcohol.
Responding to the questions, Malonda said the Commission has a number of programmes that are aimed at people living in rural areas including inspections, business clinics and surgeries and radio programmes. She also pointed out that consumer protection laws are meant to protect consumers from products that are harmful to their health including alcohol sachets.
The public lecture was organised in conjunction with Let’s Develop Malawi (LEDEMA) and was attended by over 150 students. LEDEMA is a student body that promotes a spirit of entrepreneurship amongst students