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Malawi Competition & Fair Trade agency fines Airtel with MK2.1bn for duping customers on “Khethekhethe” bonus

Kamoto

Airtel Malawi Managing Director Charles Kamoto

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The country’s Competition and Fair Trade Commission (CFTC) has fined mobile phone operator, Airtel Malawi with a sum of K2.1 billion for being found guilty of engaging in “unconscionable conduct” with respect to the rewarding of its “Khethekhethe” bonus.

CFTC acting executive director Apoche Itimu told the new conference in the capital Lilongwe on Wednesday, September 29, 2021 that the Commission launched an investigation on September 16, 2021 against the Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE) listed Airtel Malawi following several complaints from consumers.

“It was alleged that the respondent (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, who for one reason or another did not redeem their bonuses, had them forfeited,” said Itimu.

According to her, it was further alleged that the unredeemed bonuses were later appropriated and sold to other customers on the 15th.

By failing to promptly pay Khethekhethe bonus to all deserving customers who reached a minimum threshold of MK1,000 per month, and consequently forfeiting the same to the company’s advantage, Itimu said Airtel Malawi made a financial gain of about MK2.1 billion, thereby acting unreasonably and without conscious.

“The Commission therefore ordered Airtel to pay a fine of MK2,113,099,660 for engaging in unconscionable conduct in the trade of goods and services.This represented financial gain generated from the offence,” she charges.

Airtel Malawi official refused to comment on the matter as we went to press.

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