Zamm Investments – the bottler and supplier of Cool Drop water in Malawi – has expressed disrespect to the Competition and Fair Trading Commission (the Commission), which faulted it for supplying contaminated water to Malawians.
CFTC also recommended that the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) should prosecute Zamm Investments for supplying Cool Drop Natural Mineral Water.
The Commission’s Executive Director, Lloyd Nkhoma, said in a statement issued on Tuesday that the company had been found guilty of selling products likely to cause injury to health or physical harm to consumers and unconscionable conduct in the trade of goods and services.
This followed complaints from MANAC Conference Centre located at Dowa, MANAC Conference Centre located at Dowa and an anonymous person.
“When the CFTC staff visited MANAC Conference Centre located at Dowa, they found that the conference facility was serving its customers with sealed “Cool Drop Natural Mineral Water” in 500ml bottles, whose contents had floating debris, an occurrence which brought concerns as to whether the water was safe for human consumption.
“On 12” January 2023, the CFTC received a complaint from a Complainant (who sought anonymity) alleging that she purchased Cool Drop Natural Mineral Water which contained some white debris floating inside. The water was from the same Batch number, manufacture and expiry date as that found by Commission staff.
“The CFTC received another complaint from MANAC Conference Centre located at Dowa, through their letter dated 8th February 2023, alleging that they purchased 50 cases of Cool Drop Natural Mineral Water which had floating debris,” reads part of the statement released on August 30.
Additionally, two reports, which the Ministry of Water and Sanitation and Malawi Bureau of Standards, said the water Zamm Investments was supplying had potential to cause injury to the consumers.
However, despite acknowledging and agreeing with the findings by the ministry and the bureau, the water manufacturer and supplier has come out with its guns blazing, defending itself and trashing what the Commission had said regarding its water.
“Indeed, some 500ml Cool Drop bottled water produced under batch number 282, representing about 12 percent of the total in that batch, were found to contain foreign matter inside. Immediately this was brought to our attention, we voluntarily recalled all the bottles under the affected batch, including the 88 percent of the water that was not affected,” reads the press release the company issued in response to the CFTC one.
Zamm Investments also faulted Malawi Bureau of Standards for not stating whether or not the water was safe to drink.
“The report from the Central Laboratory of the Ministry of Water and Sanitation dated 20th February, 2023, on the other hand, while confirming the presence of foreign matter in the water, found that the water was safe to drink. Thus, while the presence of the foreign matter in the water did not conform to certain mandatory standards, the foreign matter was not harmful. The water was safe to drink,” the company claimed, adding that it had sent samples of the affected water to Malawi Bureau of Standards and to the Central Laboratory of the Ministry of Water and Sanitation for testing.
Zamm Investments claimed that it had destroyed all the bottles in the affected batch, including the 88 percent that was not affected.
There was no immediate comment from the Commission on the matter.