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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mr chimbwititi

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

A fellow conman

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



Mulhomwe Wankulu

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


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


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… Read more »

Asumileni amenewa.Enanu mukuona ngati nkaziyu mungankwere mutamuyikila kumbuyo.

Bololo Wachitumbuka
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… Read more »
A fellow conman

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

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


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.

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