MALAWI CELEBRATES WORLD CONSUMER RIGHTS DAY ON 14TH MARCH, 2024 IN KASUNGU UNDER THE THEME “TERMS AND CONDITIONS, TRADERS’ OBLIGATIONS”

The Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) will lead consumers and traders in the country in celebrating this year’s World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) on Thursday 14th March, in Kasungu under the theme “Terms and Conditions, Traders’ Obligations”.

Traditionally, World Consumer Rights Day falls on 15th March every year and is an annual occasion for celebration and solidarity within the international consumer movement. The day is observed by promoting the basic rights of all consumers and demanding that they are respected and protected.

In choosing the theme “Terms and Conditions, Traders’ Obligations”, the Commission has been motivated by the increasing number of complaints regarding unfair and unreasonable terms and conditions; lack of their disclosure by traders; and unilateral  waver of the terms and conditions without the consent of consumer thereby rendering the agreements void. Such conducts have been mostly rampant in contract farming, energy sector and financial services sector including insurance, banking and microfinance.  

As we celebrate this year’s World Consumer Rights Day, the Commission reminds consumers and traders that terms and conditions must be well understood by both parties and that they must be written in plain and understandable language. The Commission also reminds the general public that terms and conditions which are unfair, unconscionable, inequitable, oppressive or unreasonable to consumers have no effect on the contracts.

In drafting the terms and conditions parties must be guided by the following:

  • Be drafted in terms which are clear and understandable;
  • Be drafted in the official language;
  • Be drafted in characters that are legible;
  • Where the contract is entered into locally, have a written translation into the national local language;
  • Be read and explained to an illiterate, blind, mute and similarly disabled party in a language s/he understands.

During the week beginning 10th March, the CFTC will conduct a number of activities aimed at raising awareness about consumer rights specifically on terms and conditions. The activities will include market inspections, consumer surgeries, road shows and radio programs.

On 14th March, CFTC will hold the main event in Kasungu which will start with a consumers’ and traders’ parade at 08.30 from Kasungu Municipal Council to Kasungu Community Ground where there will be speeches, traditional dances and comedies.  The Guest of Honour at the main event will be the Minister of Trade and Industry, Honourable Sosten Gwengwe, MP.

For media  enquiries regarding this statement, contact Innocent Helema on +265 880 725 075 or email innocent.helema@cftc.mw.

Lloyds Vincent Nkhoma

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR