MACRA, CAMA Leads Consumer Rights Day Commemorations

BY DRAXON MALOYA

Malawi government has put in place various regulations and measures to ensure that IT customers are protected from exploitation by service providers.

This includes overseeing the quality of services, in radio, television and telecommunications service providers in ensuring fair pricing, and acting on complaints from customers.

Speaking during a daylong meeting in commemorations of World Consumer Rights day in Mzuzu, MACRA’s deputy director of legal customers affairs, Kelious Mlenga emphasized the importance of consumers being aware of their rights and encouraged to report any case of exploitation or unfair treatment by IT service providers.

“Service providers to adhere to the regulations set out by the government and to prioritize customer satisfaction in their operations,” stressed Mlenga.

Mlenga further stated that overall, the government of Malawi is committed to promoting transparency and fairness in the provision of IT services, and will continue to work towards protecting the rights of IT customers in the country.

In this regard, Mlenga revealed that due to an increase in uptake of mobile Internet services, the Central Equipment Identity Registry has been installed awaiting configuration to interface with mobile network providers in line with the electronic cyber security Act.

Delivering a speech on behalf of the Chief Executive Officer for the Consumers Association of Malawi (CAMA) the association’s Administration Manager, Indota Johnson Mpatama highlighted some of the challenges faced by consumers due to the failure to acknowledge some of the disclosures of terms and conditions attached in awarding contracts which ended up in the exploitation of the customers.

“Effective disclosures can make markets more competitive and weed out consumer abuse, mostly customers who do not have adequate information and understanding of what such particulars means creating difficulties in selecting products and making decisions that are in their best interest,” said Mpatama.

Mpatama added stating that information is critical to the effective functioning of the market and it is a right for every consumer to be informed and be protected from market abuses.

MACRA joined the consumer movement and other influential actors coming together to celebrate World Consumer Rights Day to raise awareness on consumer rights, protection and empowerment.

Consumers International selected ‘Fair and responsible AI for consumers’ as this year’s theme for the World Consumer Rights Day, coordinating through a multi-stakeholder approach uniting 200 members, international organisations, governments, business and civil society organizations.

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