Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) has embarked on a series of public lectures on competition and fair trading law.
The lectures which are mainly targeting public and private tertiary institutions are aimed at providing information meant to protect consumer interests and promote economic efficiency.
Speaking on the sidelines of a similar lecture at Blantyre International University (BIU) on Tuesday, CFTC executive director Charlotte Wezi Malonda said the lectures serve to enlighten consumers in the country to know their rights and what redress mechanisms are available when those rights are violated.
Said Malonda: “Consumer welfare is at the heart of every economy and competition thrives where consumer interests and rights are protected. We also want to emphasise that safeguarding consumer interests is a shared responsibility for us all and therefore businesses ought to evaluate the effects of their actions or behaviour on consumer protection.”
She further stated that a trader commits an offence of unfair trading when they do not perform their obligations and infringes statutory rights, conditions and warranties.
“We investigate allegations of unfair trading practices on our own initiative or in response to complaints from people. If there are reasonable grounds that there is a contravention of the Fair Trading Act, appropriate actions are taken,” she said.
According to Malonda, unfair trading practices include, among others; misleading and deceptive price displays and adverts, excluding liability for defective goods (displays of disclaimers), selling of expired products and offering goods with no intention of supplying them.
In September 1997 Malawi government adopted Competition and Trade Policy Laws necessitated by globalisation and market oriented reforms such as price liberalisation, trade liberalisation, deregulation and privatisation.