Kapito bashes SOBO, MBS over substandard products

Outspoken consumer rights advocate and human rights activist John Kapito is accusing Malawi Bureau of Standards of being weak and negligent in ensuring that products from Southern Bottlers (SOBO) are meeting the standards before they are sold to the people.

Kapito, who is the Executive Director for the Consumers Association of Malawi (CAMA, was reacting to what he said lot of complaints from consumers that are on his desk concerning ‘substandard products’ from SOBO.

Briefing reporters on Wednesday at his Mpingwe Offices in Limbe the consumers’ rights lobbyist  accused the MBS officials of being too friendly with SOBO instead of being a watchdog for the consumers.

Pointing at a number of products manufactured by SOBO like, Fanta, lime water, Ginger Ale, Coca-Cola containing foreign objects inside the bottles,  the charged Kapito said: “Look at these assorted products on my table brought by different complainants with different angles. A lot of them have foreign objects inside the bottles while others under filled yet they have the MBS stamps, one wonders how they were certified.”

Kapito lambasting SOBO, MBS in an interview with journalists-Photo by Jeromy Kadewere/Nyasa Times

Kapito said such substandard products from SOBO were supposed to be checked thoroughly by the MBS before they are brought to the market.

He also attacked SOBO for not caring for the consumers’ lives but instead being busy distributing substandard products throughout the country despite being one of the oldest producers in the country.

It was also established that the producer is not observing some of the laws it is supposed to follow like the Consumers ACT 19 Section 35 Sub 3 which stipulates that the manufacturer has to make sure that the labels, packaging, ingredients; contents have to be keenly observed and checked.

Investigations conducted by Nyasa Times have revealed that most of the complainants are treated like suspects when they visit SOBO and MBS  in such a way that are squeezed why taking an opened bottle to them which the consumer has discovered  a foreign body in it instead OF thoroughly investigating it first.

It has also further discovered that most of the time the SOBO officials tends to ask to compensate the consumer with a crate of the beverages or beer for the inconvenience caused to the particular consumer meaning accepting the problem.

“I am fed up with compensating customers with a fresh bottle of beer or soft drink in my bottle store whenever the customer finds some foreign objects in a product of SOBO”, complained the proprietor of the CHEMBAS BAR in Soche East.

According to him he compensates the customers on behalf of SOBO then reclaim later in order to safeguard his relationship with his customers who often visit his Bottle store.

Most of the imbibers these days are complaining of abdominal complexions and are advised to stop taking beer even some soft drinks meaning they are consuming hazardous products unknowingly.

Kapito showing off one of the substandard product from SOBO-Pic by Blazio Banda

Some of the affected bottles brought by customers-Pic by Jeromy Kadewere

Foreign object in the bottle of Fanta

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