By Memory Chatonda, MANA
Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) Executive Director, James Kaphale has advised consumers in the country to desist from buying substandard goods on the market to protect their lives.
Kaphale said on Tuesday during the commemoration of World Consumer Rights Day in Blantyre which was held under the theme: ‘Protecting consumers from substandard goods’.
He said it was disheartening that consumers in the country continue to be duped with substandard goods despite the commission’s efforts to protect buyers against the malpractice.
“We normally encourage consumers to know their rights and responsibilities by being alert and questioning on the price and quality of the goods and services.
“However, we have noted that unscrupulous traders dupe buyers with uncertified goods and we have so far taken action.
“Recently, we ceased eleven pharmacies in Blantyre and Lilongwe for excessive pricing on products such as sanitizers, masks as well as gloves.
The commission will continue protecting consumers by reminding their rights and responsibilities in the purchase of any product,” he said.
In his remarks, Consumer Association of Malawi (CAMA) Executive Director, John Kapito blamed passiveness of consumers in determining quality of products before purchasing in the shops or on the markets.
“Most of the times when we (consumers) go to the market, we tend to deliberately look for substandard or uncertified goods in order to pay less only to discover that in purchasing the item, we have compromised our safety or the item cannot perform to our anticipation.
“No wonder, there is proliferation of substandard goods or services on the market. As CAMA, we believe this can be flushed out if a consumer regards herself or himself as king (the one with money in the pocket).
“They should exercise their rights and responsibilities to demand quality and certified products to value for his or her money,” he said
.On March 23 every year, Malawi joins other countries in commemorating World Consumer Rights Day to raise awareness about consumer rights and responsibilities. Among the rights, include safety, choice, information and effective redress.