Airtel Malawi hit with K2.1 billion fine

Airtel Malawi has been fined K2.1 billion for failing to pay Khethekhethe bonuses to customers who qualified for the bonuses.

The Competition and Fair-Trading Commission (CFTC) has announced the fine during a press briefing this morning

Airtel promotes the Khethekhethe bonus facility where it rewards customers every time they spend K1000 on voice call or data.

CFTC acting Executive Director, Apoche Itimu, said  the commission received several complaints from customers that they had not been rewarded with bonuses after using K1000.

Apoche Itimu said the Commission launched an investigation into the matter on September 16, 2021.

The commission found that Airtel Malawi stopped automatically crediting customer accounts with monthly bonuses.

“Instead, it was alleged that customers were required to apply for the redemption of their bonuses on the 14th of every month.

“Consequently, whoever for one reason or another did not redeem their bonuses, had them forfeited,” said Itimu.

According to Itimu, by forfeiting the bonuses of its customers to its advantage, Airtel made a financial gain of K2.1 billion.

“The Commission therefore, ordered Airtel to pay a fine of K2,113,099,660 for engaging in unconscionable conduct in the trade of goods and services. This represented financial gain generated from the offence,” she said.

CFTC has also fined other companies, including Mybucks Bank, for various offences.

In 2019, Airtel was also fined K820 million for failing to sell 20 percent of the company’s shares to Malawian investors.