Traders jack up cooking oil prices: CFTC watching

Good governance expert have implored the government to appoint competent individuals to the Competition and Fair Trading Commission-CFTC to serve the Malawian populace effectively.

This comes as some merchants are exploiting the CFTC’s weakness to regulate exorbitant price hikes on cooking oil.

Speaking in an interview with Our News Platform Mw, Wonderful Nkhutche said the economy is the backbone of politics in the country.

He said: “when the cost of living for Malawians escalates due to unscrupulous traders inflating prices of essential goods like cooking oil, the repercussions fall on the government.”

Nkhutche added that people might blame the government for failing, but is it genuinely the President’s failure when entities like the CFTC are underperforming?

“When merchants capriciously raise commodity prices, is it truly indicative of governmental incompetence in economic management? The answer is unequivocally NO. It is the CFTC that is failing in its mandate. Those who are derelict in their duties should either resign to make way for capable individuals, or those responsible for their appointment should dismiss them.”

The Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC), an ostensibly independent governmental entity designed to oversee, regulate, and thwart practices detrimental to competition and fair trade in Malawi, appears to be conspicuously ineffectual.

For instance, in Liwonde, Machinga district, the price of a liter of cooking oil has surged to MK5,500 from MK3,500, and a 2-liter bottle now costs MK10,495, up from MK7,500.

This egregious inflation is similarly observed in Area 23, Lilongwe. In a feeble attempt to salvage their reputation, CFTC spokesperson Innocent Helema issued a toothless warning about addressing these unreasonable price hikes.

Nonetheless, commission failed to elucidate any concrete measures to rectify the issue.

The CFTC’s primary purpose is to shield consumers from such unfair trade practices.

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