The Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) has proposed stiffer penalties to perpetrators of smuggling if the vice is to end.
Director of Business Environment and Advocacy, Madalitso Kazembe, said MCCCI has established that local manufacturing industries are significantly affected by smuggling in the country.
Said Kazembe: “Private sector involvement in the fight against smuggling can be effective as they are the ones that are being affected more. Smuggling can only end if its cost including the cost of being caught is higher than the revenue derived from the sale of the smuggled goods,”
She alleged that, high corruption levels at the ports and border points are factors promoting the malpractice as it lowers the cost of smuggling.
“Putting in place stiff penalties and addressing the issues of corruption at the border points will therefore assist in protecting the local industry from unfair competition they face due to the smuggled products,” She said.
She said that smuggling has proven to be among the biggest challenges in the manufacturing sector in Malawi as it affects production levels for most of the manufacturing companies in the country.
“It is therefore high time the government and the private sector worked hand in hand in addressing the issue as the current mechanisms have failed to yield satisfactory results due to high corruption rates among the government officials,” She said.
Studies by MCCCI have shown that the private sector is willing to financially support and involve itself in tip off anonymous system and other measures put in place to tackle the issue.