Airtel to challenge K2.1bn fine

By Chancy Namadzunda:

Airtel Malawi has indicated that it will going to challenge the Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC)’s K2.1 billion fine.

On Wednesday, CFTC fined Airtel Malawi for engaging in “unconscionable conduct” in the trade of goods and services through its KhetheKhethe customer loyalty bonus programme.

However, the company has released a statement challenging the fine insisting that they are innocent.

“Airtel Malawi Plc notes the decision by the Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) relating to its KhetheKhethe customer loyalty bonus programme. The Company denied the charges levelled against it before the CFTC and does not agree with the consequential decision.

“The Company is pursuing the matter further in court. Airtel complies and continues to fully comply with the relevant and applicable laws and has not committed any unfair trading practice or provided any misleading, false or deceptive information or made false representation to the public. We wish to reiterate our commitment to conducting business within the applicable legal and regulatory framework and continue to deliver reliable and value-adding services,” reads part of the statement signed by Managing Director Charles Kamoto

According to CFTC acting Executive Director, Apoche Itimu, Airtel Malawi failed to pay KhetheKhethe bonuses to deserving consumers who reached a minimum of K1,000 threshold for voice calls.

Itimu said the commission made investigations following complaints, partly alleging that Airtel stopped crediting customers automatically but required them to redeem the bonuses on 14 every month.

“Consequently, customers, who for no reason or another did not redeem their bonuses, had it forfeited,” Itimu said at a press briefing in Lilongwe.

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