Africa-Press – Malawi. Minister of Industry Roy Kachale Banda this morning visited Chipiku Plus in Blantyre to check how products made in Malawi are displayed in the shop. Kachale visited Chipiku Plus which is at Chitawira and several other shops.
The Minister during the visit pointed out to the management of Chipiku Plus that some Malawian products were displayed on lower shelves while imported ones were displayed on upper shelves.
Kachale, however, has come under fire over the visit with social media users saying the minister was carrying out duties that are required to be carried out by junior officers.
“Sometimes you need to have senses before you act how can someone with his upper position like that take a visit just to check supermarket how Malawian products are displayed on shelves. Who complained about this by the way and we have been visiting Chipiku and others and we know where to find the locally produced goods,” wrote person?”
“He was supposed to tackle the issue of commodities prices and employment and not displaying and marketing, this Tonse government very useless,” another person said. While Kondwani Munthali said: “He is Minister of Industry not Trade or marketing, he needs to focus on production sectors not shelves display.”
Following the backlash, Kachale has defended his visit saying Malawi industry policy documents point to access to capital and access to markets as major obstacles to industrial development.
He added that he has been visiting small businesses and they have been complaining that supermarkets favour imported goods and they regularly refuse to stock Malawian products. Kachale added that businesses also complained that Malawian products are put on shelves that are way out of eye level.
“Why is it important that Malawian goods are given the same treatment as foreign goods on the supermarket. How else can we have a chance at meaningful import substitution when Malawian products are placed out of reach of the buyers,” said Kachale.