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CFTC Launches Nationwide Price Monitoring Initiative Amidst Kwacha Devaluation Concerns

In response to the recent devaluation of the Malawi Kwacha on November 7th, 2023, the Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) has taken proactive measures to monitor prices across major cities and towns. 

Lloyds Vincent Nkhoma, the Executive Director of the CFTC, announced the initiative in an official statement, citing the need to gather evidence related to potential violations of the Competition and Fair Trading Act (CFTA) resulting from excessive price increases.

Mr. Nkhoma acknowledged that currency devaluation may necessitate adjustments in the pricing of goods and services. However, he expressed concerns about observed price increments that suggest possible opportunistic practices. 

These practices, he noted, may involve exploiting the devaluation of the local currency as a pretext to overcharge consumers.

In light of these observations, the CFTC has formally approached 19 manufacturers and suppliers of products and services to seek explanations for significant price adjustments. 

Mr. Nkhoma emphasized that this is the initial step in the due process, preceding a full investigation if evidence indicates potential violations.

To expand the scope of its monitoring efforts, the CFTC is collaborating with the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Local Government, Civic Education, and Culture. 

Together, they aim to extend the price monitoring exercise to districts and rural trading centers across the country, seeking to establish and gather evidence of possible CFTA violations in these areas.

The general public and the business community have been officially notified that any supplier found engaging in excessive pricing contrary to the CFTA will face relevant penalties and sanctions as provided for under the law.

Mr. Nkhoma encouraged public participation in ensuring fair trading practices, inviting consumers and the general public to report any suspected violations of the CFTA through the CFTC’s toll-free line 2489 or by sending a WhatsApp message to 0987738749.

As the CFTC takes decisive action to maintain fair and competitive market practices, this initiative underscores the commission’s commitment to protecting consumers and fostering transparency in the wake of economic challenges posed by the Kwacha devaluation.

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