The Consumer Protection Act passed by Malawi Parliament and assented to in 2003 is yet to be operationalised.
The Act, among other things, is meant to protect the rights of consumers, establish a consumer protection council and provide redress mechanism for their claims.
Although a decade has passed since former president Bakili Muluzi assented to the Act, a consumer protection council, provided for under the Act, is yet to be established.
Ministry of Industry and Trade spokesperson Wiskes Nkombezi said the law is being domesticated and soon a council will be established.
â€œThe ministry is in the process of setting up the council. There are a number of nominations that we have received from organisations from where we would tap membership.
â€œWe are, however, facing bottlenecks such as changes in the organisations from where we get nominations and financial resources, the latter being the biggest challenge,â€ he said.
He said once the challenges are addressed the council will be set up.
Nkombezi was optimistic that before the 2012/2013 financial year, the council will be in place.
The consumer protection law also protects the interests of consumers, provides for monitoring of the frequency and magnitudes of price increases and encourages consultations with relevant stakeholders to understand what is happening in the economy.
The enactment and operationalisation of competition legislation is a prerequisite for the ongoing regional trade integration such as Sadc, Comesa and the proposed Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA).