Govt fires warning shots at Sugar distributors and Wholesalers

Ministry of Trade and Industry has issued a stern warning to distributors and wholesalers found engaging in price manipulation schemes In a bold move taken against unjust price practices in the sugar industry.

This action follows a comprehensive investigation revealing connivance between certain distributors and street vendors to inflate sugar prices unfairly, thereby burdening consumers across the country.

Speaking in an interview on Wednesday in Lilongwe, Public Relations Officer (PRO) for Ministry of Trade and Industry, Patrick Botha, underscored government’s commitment to ensuring fair market practices and protecting consumers from exploitation in the country.

“We are quite serious with this issue as Malawians have struggled to access sugar for the past few months as an essential commodity. Now that the situation is stabilizing, we cannot condone that some companies should hide behind the street vendors to maintain the status that almost led to a crisis,” Botha said.

Botha added that if anyone is found indulging in the malpractice, the Ministry would revoke their licenses.
PRO for Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC), Innocent Helema said distributors and wholesalers found committing the offence, will be fined a minimum sum of K 500,000, and attract a prison sentence of five years.

“As provided for under the Competition and Fair Trading Act, you may be aware that Parliament recently passed the Competition and Fair Trading Bill which, when assented will correct a lot of unfair and anticompetitive business conduct in the country,” he said.

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