Cama demands apology from Unliver Malawi over expired margarine prison donation: Ng’ombe insists on agreement for recycling

Malawi’s consumer watchdog, Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) has described as inhuman the bizarre conduct by Unilever Malawi to donate expired margarine to inmates at Zomba Maximum Prison.

hikondi Ng'ombe, Unilever boss in Malawi, alongside other officials at the function

Chikondi Ng’ombe, Unilever boss in Malawi, alongside other officials: It as for recycling

Unilever Malawi on December 17th donated to each inmate at the prison four pieces of expired 200mg Blue Band/Rama margarine as Christmas gifts, which could be a health hazard.

The company’s Country Manager, Chikondi Ng’ombe told Nyasa Times that Unilever made a donation to the inmates of Zomba Central Prison of margarine and savoury powder.

Ng’ombe confirmed that the margaline was expired product.

But in a statement made available to Nyasa Times, Ng’ombe said “Unilever made this donation on the understanding and agreement that the margarine would be recycled and used for the express purpose of a soap-making project at the prison”

The statement reads: “It should be noted that the donation was made to the prison as Unilever Malawi is no longer manufacturing soap and the prison has a soap plant that they use for soap production.”

Ng’ombe said the savoury powder “has not expired” and can safely be consumed by the in-mates of the prison.

“Unilever carries out stringent tests on all its products to ensure that consumers receive quality products,” said Ng’ombe.

But, Cama has questioned the company’s gesture and has since demanded immediate apology.

”What Unilever has done is as good as wanting to kill consumers because poor institutions like Unilever have an international brand image that must protected, but this action has revealed that Unilever have no moral ethical values,” Cama’s Executive Director, John Kapito told Nyasa Times.

Kapito said it was questionable if all Unilever products on the market have the same qualities that the company claims to have.

”It should be noted that companies like Unilever have no place in Malawi and we are suspicious of their many corporate social responsibilities whether they are done in good faith”.

Kapito warned that his institution would launch a campaign for consumers not to buy certain Unilever products following the donation of expired margarine.

”We demand Uniliver to make apologies in both print and electronic media over their inhuman behaviour prisons are not dumping sites for bad products,” he added.

Also commenting on the matter on social media, Stanley Onjezani Kenani wrote: “I can’t understand why Unilever Malawi donated expired margarine to prisoners. And the explanation by management at Unilever — that the margarine should have been used as soap — does not make sense. Why didn’t they just donate soap? Prisoners’ rights are human rights. What Unilever has done is criminal.”

The consumer and human rights activist said there were many organisations in Malawi with rotten and expired products that keep on donating to Malawilans in the form of medicines and food.

”Unfortunately government authorities have never put in place mechanisms to check the quality of such products and Malawi is not a dumping site of such products in the form of donations”.

Unilever Malawi has over the years scaled down its operations in the country after stopping local production of its non-strategic brands in the wake of untenable level of debt of close to US$20 million to its parent company.

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26 thoughts on “Cama demands apology from Unliver Malawi over expired margarine prison donation: Ng’ombe insists on agreement for recycling”

  1. mr chimbwititi says:

    kodi ma officer akundende sawelenga eti?.mpakana kukaziwa akaidi kuti batalayu wa expired ma officer osaziwa?.apepese ndi ndalama basi.

  2. A fellow conman says:

    That’s what happens anthu akamapatsidwa ma udindo chifukwa chokutha kukhanyula miyendo. Chikondi Ng’ombeyo akuoneka kuti ntchito samaitha

  3. Malipeya says:


  4. Mulhomwe Wankulu says:

    Nonsenu mukunfuna Mkaziyu muvulala nazo kamba koti Mkaziyu ndinasilika kalekale, nde musamale nazo…..bwinotu bwinoooooooo.Muchotsedwa nazo mafupa.

  5. BigMan says:

    Poor Malawians, as usual rushing to comment and make judgements on things that they know very little about.

  6. gontomois says:

    whatever the prisoners eat is there own fucn problem. fact remains they are mother fucn criminals period!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    I just feel the uniliver boss is comfortable to give whatever response she likes because she knows this issue will easily be buried like other issues that stimulate people to speak out which in the end we cant see the result.CAMA is one useless organisation that is good at critisizing but doing nothing on followup of issues and influencing the change.The CAMA boss doesn’t inspire in many ways as regards his leadership.Seems is one of the guys that can easily be silenced in the back scene.This woman perpetual unconvincing response ought not be treated with glooved hands because it will encourage immolarity by companies as regards their social and cooperate responsibility.She should clearly explain to us the plan of recycling the material as agreed with the prison autholity.The prison autholity should come open to explain matters .They might also have agreed to the donation while fully aware they were expired.This woman seems to be adamant and doesnt care about the implication but we should be able if we are serious with lives of fellow malawians to make her start caring.We cant just allow such egocentric, selfish and pompous behaviours just because the culprit is of high social or economic status whatsoever.It pains me alot.

  8. Sizachilendo says:

    Asumileni amenewa.Enanu mukuona ngati nkaziyu mungankwere mutamuyikila kumbuyo.

  9. Bololo Wachitumbuka says:

    All the people who said that uniliver is not wrong for doing this, i think you need to upgrade your sturdies, i ddn’t say that you ddn’t go to xool, but u need to upgrading, Does prison department have recycle machine? And you r saying kapito wasowa chochita, your showing that your Africans indeed(mockeys). If it was in Britain, this Uniliver wil face a big purnishment, and consumer wil never buy their product for 10yrs, but its Malawi we dnt knw anything about consumer behaviour lets blem kapito due to our ingnorance( sorry 4 spelling am malawian which any teacher can teach me wrong words without asking any question, and i can eat any expered product without any aproblem because an a prisoner)

    1. A fellow conman says:

      Aise nawenso you need to “upgrading” your studies kikikiki.

      Koma waziona zimiyendo Za chi mkazicho? Chofunika kuchichinda chimenecho. Blood fucken

  10. Bob says:

    Kapito and your CAMA you are surfing now and yet just some few days ago ESCOM raised its tariffs which affects law abiding and hard working citizens like us and you remained quite. Shame on you. Uniliver has said they new its expired and gave the same to Malawi Prison Authority with instructions. Afterall we expected Malawi Beural of Standards to explain this not you fools.

  11. Fortune Nuka says:

    It z unfortunate indeed

  12. Tonny says:

    They wanted prisoners to make soap but donated the expired products to individual prisoners, and not to the prison in a bulk? Does that make sense to anyone? So each prisoner, according to unilever Malawi, was supposed to be walking to the machine individually to make soap? Can that argument even start to make sense when told to mental patients? I don’t even think that just a written apology is enough for this criminality.! What unilever did was to use their expired products to market themselves at the expense of prisoners’ health!

  13. Youth League Chairman: Kawale 1 market says:

    Kweni Chiko, ukuzingiliska mutu…Bekani lundi ilo…

  14. Guantanamo says:

    If the margarine was intended for soap making it could hv been donated to Malawi Prison. But this one was donated to individual prisoners as xmas gift. 2ndly, don’t confuse between personalities and institutions. Cama is accusing Unilever of donating expired products; others are seeing Kapito accusing Chikondi N’gombe of donating expired margarine. Don’t be angry on behalf of somebody’s failures. Even under international law its unethical to donate garbage, something you intended to throw away. Its immoral. Unilever wholesalers must simply do the needful. Apologize to all Malawians

  15. advisory committee says:

    Koma ngakhale kanapereka majalini ovunda ku prison ka mkazi ka director ka Unilever kaya kever brothers kali mushe tandipatsa ma contacts ako babie tikambirane za chinkhoswe basi and ndiyambe kulemba zakuti majalini yo anali 4 soap naking not consumption as Cama and its kapita are dreaming and shouting loud about sure babie

  16. Pwiya wa Pwiya says:

    In my view, I suspect that the company is not sincere. Which Prison would recycle margarine into soap? If this is true, can authorities at Zomba prison explain to Malawians to clarify this disturbing news?

  17. advisory committee says:

    Kapito and cama thanks for taking up the matter we need clear and reasonable explanation from useless senseless clueless and thoughtless Unilever

  18. Soap wachani akhwiritoto inu kodi mukuona ngati kundende ndikotayira zinthu za expire? Malawi muno muli ndende zingati zomwe ziri ndi makina opangira soap? Bwanji osangopanga donate soap ndani anakuuzani kuti soap amapangira magerine ekhaekha? Zomwe mwapaga apazi ndikupha mukuyenera mupepese

  19. Naliyela says:

    Bwana Kapito tangonenani kuti mukuwafuna ma hope angawa.. mmesa anafotokoza kale kuti margarine was donated for soap making.

  20. mache Joy says:

    kodi mesa ati aapasa kuti apangire soap???? bwanji kukulisa nkhani??

  21. Nyaulembe says:

    Very foolish woman and CAME should sue Unilever. Does individual prisoner got machine to make soap? Would it have been donated to individuals if the idea was for soap making? Why didn’t they donate soap then? Who a hell is she trying to cheat?
    This doesn’t demand for apology but the goods be returned and substitution be made failing which they should be sued and proper restitution be made.
    Were the expired products not theirs? Why treat humans this way?

  22. Mbiri says:

    Mwapeza chochita Che Kapito! Magetsi akukwera mtengo daily but you are saying nothing. Do you really think this margarine was imposed on the prisoners? Muchita manyazi mtsikanayu akatulutsa kalata yomupempha margarine wa expired for soap making. Tikudya zinthu zopanga expire daily zogula mmashopumu….nde inu mukuti chani? Leave this girl alone….ngati mwadana naye yesani zina. Foolish activist!

  23. ophiri says:

    lol…”pieces of margarine.”

    anyway, the explanation she’s given makes perfect sense to me. the prison has a soap making plant and the donation was intended for soap making, simple. the fact that the rapists, murderers and thieves chose to eat the margarine is not my mahope’s fault. the only clarification she and the prison officials need to make is if indeed margarine can be used in soap production and if the prison authorities made it expressively clear to the gangsters not to consume the margarine. the stuff was going to be thrown away so why not put it to good use? it’s a new concept to some of us but they call that “recycling.”

    in future, let’s understand the issue before we blow a fuse. tisamude munthu just because she is very fit.

    ma hope, can i comfort you somehow in these trying times?

    1. Chingolopiyo says:

      Ophiri, #2 whether she is beautiful or not but she is heartless! She is more than a killer who deserve to be killed

  24. Zidura Ntengo Undigwere says:

    Apology will not suffice for Unilever’s gross oversight of their responsibility. Mr kapito, the company should NOT be let off, so softly, like that. It should make available real soap, ready-to-use soap, to the prisoners. Who, by the way, are as human as Unilever’s employees.
    Nafe akaidi timafuna kusamba ndi sopo ngati inu a Unilever (us prisoners would love to shower with soap, even once a week; Unilever, get real. Being in goal does not make us sub-human)

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