President Peter Mutharika has warned businesses against profiteering from the coronavirus crisis and ordered the country’s Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) to put in place strict monitoring of price controls and punish anyone found increasing prices at the expense of Malawians .
Mutharika asked the commission to increase surveillance and protect consumers from anyone who wants to unfairly increase prices of essential goods.
“People who intend to take advantage of our current situation will be punished,” said Mutharika.
“I will not allow anyone to take advantage of coronavirus attack to exploit consumers,” he added.
CFTC executive director James Kaphale in an interview with Nyasa Times said they will take “all action necessary” following the President’s directive.
He implored consumers to report any unfair trading conduct to the CFTC.
President Mutharika said he has discussed with SADC, COMESA and other regional trade blocks as well as neighbouring countries to ensure smooth transportation and importation of essential goods and raw materials into Malawi.
He also ordered all non-essential service providers in both the government and private sector to work from home with immediate effect.
Mutharika said government will discuss with Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Tourism Association of Malawi for “win-win arrangements” that will ensure that there are no redundancies in companies.
On Thursday, Malawi recorded its first three confirmed cases of the coronavirus. On Saturday, the number rose to four.