Cdedi accuses government agencies of failing to take action on unfair/illegal trading activities

CDEDI says Malawi not benefiting from Malawian Airlines, Greenbelt Authority

Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has accused the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA), Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC), and Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) of failing to take action on some companies that have been breaking the law by producing expired materials posing danger to people’s lives.

Cdedi Executive Director, Sylvester Namiwa told journalists during a press briefing in Lilongwe, that according to their investigations, findings linked to Credible Investments Limited, formerly known as Best Distribution Limited, has been producing Ceasar Red and Viking Red cigarettes without the tax stamp and expiry date with low- price bait to make the products sell as hot cakes to consumers.

Namiwa said a brick containing Ten packets of Ceasar Red Cigarette pegged at K9,500, the company has been selling it at K6,000 allowing a retailer to make a profit of K3, 500 thereby attracting distributors and retailers to patronize the cigarettes.

He has also established that the company was importing and distributing Cigarettes, mostly from Zambia and South Africa, contrary to MRA’s exercise tax stamps regulation.

“Given the above, Cdedi invoked the Access to Information (ATI) Act and on March 2, 2024, wrote the MRA demanding justification on why this company is allowed to do as it pleases on the local market. We demanded disclosure on Value-Added Tax (VAT) duplicate receipts after it became apparent that the distributors were refusing to issue such receipts despite having machines.

“As we expected, MRA was elusive in its response dated March 25, 2024, under the guise of taxpayers and personal information confidentiality,” explained Namiwa.

He however claimed that the company uses Malawi Bureau of Standards ( MBS) pre-certification codes whose information traces to South Africa.

He then asked MRA, MBS, the Department of Immigration, and CFTC to act according to mandates conferred upon them by their respective Acts of establishment to stop exposing Malawians to the needless danger of puffing expired cigarettes and the irregular trading practices by Credible Investments Limited.

The business entity which is located in Njewa along the Mchinji Road in Lilongwe started operating in 2019.


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