The Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) has urged all Malawians to spend within their means during the festive season to avoid suffering in the coming months.
In an interview with Malawi24, Cama executive director John Kapito said people usually spend a lot of money during this period every year which leads to suffering in January and February.
“It is common that during Christmas festivities consumers are tempted to go into impulse buying, consumers need to budget well during this period and refrain from the attractions of useless adverts and promotions,” he said.
He also called on consumers to demand receipts after purchasing their goods.
“Consumers must always carry and demand receipts all the time they make a purchase since the market is now full of unscrupulous traders and the receipt helps the consumers to obtain redress. Kapito said.
Speaking on the economy, Kapito said 2016 has been a difficult year economically to consumers claiming that the country continues to have the highest inflation which is triggering a high cost of living at a time when disposable incomes have been depleted.
He added that this is creating untold misery to most households and also the private sector which has negatively been affected by reduced demand of their products making most of them to scale down their operations, leading to high unemployment.
On maize price, the Cama boss said the market has been liberalised and the selling of maize and mushrooming of vendors is not a surprise in the supply and sell of maize to the market.
He added that it must be noted that Admarc stocks have been procured through a commercial loan and it will be an insult to sell such maize at a cheaper price through a subsidy since it will allow vendors to invade Admarc markets, making the very same poor unable to access the maize.
He then urged government to strengthen its food disaster distribution programmes through World Food Programme (WFP) to ensure that the most food insecure consumers are provided with free maize and that such a programme must not be politicized.