The Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC), has encouraged the Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) to heighten vigilance and ensure that consumer rights are not abused.

In a press statement published in the Nation Newspaper of April 6, 2020, the human rights Commission, encouraged the CFTC and other consumer rights defenders to ensure that consumer rights secured under the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi and other laws are well guarded and enjoyed by all consumers.

“Ensure that consumer rights are not abused with regard to quality, affordability and accessibility of goods and services,” reads the statement.

In the statement, MHRC also added that CFTC must ensure that businesses do not hoard goods and services with the aim of influencing pricing or indulge in predation.

His Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika, in a special address to the Nation on Saturday 4th April 2020, warned traders against consumer exploitation. Mutharika directed CFTC to step up market surveillance and protect consumers from unfair trading practices in the supply of essential goods in the management of Covid 19.

About two weeks ago, there were allegations that traders had excessively and unreasonably raised prices for essential goods in the management of Covid 19 including face masks, hand sanitisers, thermometers, Vitamin C and gloves. In the wake of the allegations, the Commission conducted inspections in Lilongwe and Blantyre and ordered 22 pharmacy shops to cease and desist from the practice or face stiff penalties.