By Tione Andsen
Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism Wednesday closed Kulima Gold Kanengo Shop in Lilongwe belonging to Rab Processor for allegedly selling underweight fertilizers and other products.
The Shop has been sealed after discovering that most products like Fertilizers, Cement and Bosalts were underweight after being weighed before the Minister of Trade, Salim Bagus who made a surprise visit to the shop.
It was noted that the operating business license for the shop was not displayed and staff operating the shop failed to explain clearly where the valid licence was and they failed to fish out the 2018 license to confirm that they were operating legally.
Bagus told reporters that his Ministry has been receive a number of complaints that some traders are duping them by selling underweight products.
He said the complaints have vindicated the traders that they were doing a lot of malpractices through dubious means.
“We are now discovering that traders are operating their business without licenses and this has been noted in Blantyre and Lilongwe,” the Minister added.
He warned that his Ministry would now make regular routines to check what is happening in the country and warned that those that would be fined would be heavily fined.
“We just have a buyers complaining that he was sold over 13 bags of fertilizers which are underweight, the bags were weighing ranging from 39 kg to 48 kg instead of stipulated 50kg,” Bagus said.
He appealed to buyers to first ask the traders to weigh the products before buying them to avoid being sold underweight products.
Competition and Fair Trading (CFT) Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Martha Kaukonde said her organization would open the case against the shop owner and if found guilty the pay a fine which is K500,000 but we need to calculate to estimate the total value game .
She admitted that the selling of underweight products in the country is rampant although sometimes there are allowable differences of margins due to environmental state.
Kaukonde said so far they have opened over 250 cases throughout the country and 20 of them are touching on underweight products.
A buyer, Bright Kampaundi was found complaining that he was sold under weight fertilizers on Tuesday and on Wednesday he came to lodge a complaint to the Shop owner.
“I came to buy 13 bags of fertilizers but I noted when I was loading them into the vehicle the bags were not heavy but later we weighed them at home where it was discover only five bags were weight 50 kgs but the rest are just 45, 42, 39, 48, 41 kgs,” he said.
Kampaundi added that this is very unfair to the buyers because they are buying products in wrong weight. He managed to retrieve his money before the shop was sealed by Ministry officials.-MANA