Reported cases of consumer rights violations up by 31 per cent

Lilongwe: Malawians are reporting more anti-competitive business conduct and matters to do with violation of rights of the consumer, Malawi News Agency (Mana) has learnt.

Director of Consumer, Welfare and Education for Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC), Lewis Kulisewa made the revelation Tuesday during an interview with Mana during the start of a national wide inspection and awareness campaign for the second quarter of the 2018/2019 financial year.

We saw a 31 per cent increase in the number of cases handled in 2017/2018 financial year when compared with the number of cases handled during the 2016/2017 financial year. This is a result of extensive awareness campaigns which we conduct every quarter, he said.

Director of Legal Affairs for CFTC, Martha Kaukonde told Mana that the Commission has already received over 100 cases this financial year.

She attributed the increase in reported cases to mobile clinics which they use together with other awareness creation tools.

We have used various awareness creation tool like radio programmes, newspaper articles and even road shows. However, we saw a significant increase in cases when we started using mobile clinics to create awareness. For example, we have already registered over 100 cases between July and November, 2018 which is far higher that the number of cases we handled in 2013, Kaukonde pointed out.

She explained that during the mobile clinics, employees of CFTC have one on one discussions with customers and businesses where they explain rights of the consumer, fair competitive business practices and processes of seeking redress as stipulated in the Competition and Fair Trading Act and Consumer Protection Act.

A Taxi driver from the taxi rank at Zomba bus depot, John Phiri, is one of the 500 people that were reached during a mobile clinic session held on December 4, 2018 in preparation for the World Competition Day.

I have learnt a lot from this session. I didn’t know that by agreeing on specific prices for specific routes is anti-competitive business conduct, he said.

Source: Malawi News Agency MANA