Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism on Tuesday closed 23 shops owned by foreign nationals in Mchinji and Dowa districts for allegedly operating without proper documents and in undesignated places.
The ministry’s deputy director for domestic trade Charity Musonzo said the ministry was simply enforcing the 2014 Business Licensing Act, which guides how non-Malawians are supposed to conduct business in the country.
She said: “We have so far closed 23 foreign owned shops in Mchinji and Mponela in Dowa in an exercise the ministry has conducted in two days.
“Actually we are enforcing the business licences in the Act which came into force in 2014 after passing of the business licensing regulations and we have found that the closed shops had no proper documents for business operations.”
Musonzo said according to the Act, non-Malawian business operators have their designated places in the cities of Blantyre, Lilongwe, Mzuzu, Zomba and municipalities of Luchenza and Kasungu.
“If we find business owners operating outside these places, their businesses will be closed because they are operating illegally,” she said.
Chinese businessperson Norman Butt, who runs Three Stars Shop in Mchinji, said his business will be affected because he has lost many customers. n