Malawi Trade Ministry warns over price increases following devaluation

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Sosten Gwengwe is a politician in Malawi who serves as a Member of Parliament and a cabinet minister

The Ministry of Trade and Industry says it will take action against excessive and unreasonable price hikes on the local market following the devaluation of the Malawi Kwacha by 44%.

Secretary for Trade and Industry in the Ministry, Christina Zakeyu, has said in a statement that excessive and unreasonable price hikes are ” a gross violation of the Competition and Fair-Trading Act (CFTA),” and government will act through the Competition and Fair-Trading Commission (CFTC) in dealing with traders who have raised the prices of products.

At the moment, the Ministry reveals it will intensify market surveillance in the prices of goods and services to enforce this.

But reacting to this, economic commentator, Kingsley Jassi, reveals that Malawians should expect even worse economic times.

“Prices are expected to become even higher and it is worth noting that most Malawians are in the low categories and they will struggle to maintain their livelihoods,” Jassi said.

Former Reserve Bank Governor Dalitso Kabambe has since predicted there will be more depreciations. In a Statement, Kabambe says “Looking at the timing, this must be a prior condition for the ECF. Since Kwacha is at 1, 700 to a Dollar and below the market equilibrium”.

Attempts to reach the office of the Minister of Finance, Simplex Chithyola, proved futile as they directed us to wait for a press conference regarding the matter which will be held on the 13th of November.

Last year, the Kwacha also depreciated by 25 percent and President Lazarus Chakwera described the devaluation as a necessary evil.

By Romeo Umali

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