CFTC recommends criminal proceedings against Illovo

The Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) has recommended that Illovo Sugar Malawi plc (ISM) be prosecuted for alleged unconscionable and misleading conduct over hiking sugar prices.

The recommendation follows an earlier decision by the sugar company to raise sugar prices in the country, aiming at curbing what Illovo said the conduct of smuggling sugar out of the country.

But after receiving several complaints, CFTC executive director Lloyds Vincent Nkhoma has told a news conference in Lilongwe that the Commission’s investigation found that the reason for the price increase was unjustifiable, irrational, and adversely affected consumers.

He said: “That ISM should be prosecuted for violating S43 (1) (g) of the CFTA. The investigations report has been submitted to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for prosecution.

The Commission has issued an advisory note to the Ministry of Trade and Industry to ensure that the supply of essential commodities such as sugar are not shielded from import competition in situations where the domestic beneficiaries under the Control of Goods Act are abusing their dominant positions or engaging in unfair trading practices.”

Nkhoma has also disclosed that the Commission ZAMM Investments be prosecuted for alleged supply of some batches of sealed “Cool Drop Natural Mineral Water” in 500ml bottles likely to cause injury to health or physical harm to consumers.

“That the Respondent should be prosecuted for violating Sections 43(1) (e) and 43(1) (g) of the CFTA. Therefore, the Commission should submit the investigations report to the office of the DPP for prosecution.

“The Commission has referred the matter to Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) for necessary regulatory actions and also to conduct a recall of all the products from the affected batches that may still be on the market,” said Nkhoma.

According to Nkhoma, CFTC made determinations on other cases which were either resolved at preliminary stages or will undergo mediation because they are of smaller magnitude to be referred to the office of the DPP.

The Commission understands that should the mediation fail to yield the intended results, the CFTC will provide the necessary guidance to the complainants to ensure that their issues are addressed accordingly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *