21 January 2013

Zambia: Over 750 Consumer, Merger Cases On Cards

THE Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) is this year set to deal with more than 750 consumer and merger-related cases.

CCPC public relations officer Hanford Chaaba said the commission last year handled more than 450 cases and that the number was rising due to massive sensitisation campaigns CCPC embarked on in 2012.

Mr Chaaba said last year, CCPC projected to handle more than 250 cases but ended up dealing with over 450 cases.

"We projected to deal with at least 250 consumers and merger-related cases but at the end of December 2012, the figures showed that we handled more than 450, a major milestone in the history of the commission," Mr Chaaba said in an interview.

The increase in the number of reported cases was partly attributed to the appointment of more than 70 inspectors in the districts throughout the country.

Mr Chaaba also attributed the increase in the number of cases handled to the introduction of toll free line 5678, which the commission introduced last year.

He disclosed that the commission was now receiving in excess of 200 calls per day concerning consumer rights violations saying, it were the reason why the commission was confident that it would be able to deal with more than 750 cases by the end of December this year.

On the challenges the commission faced during the course of 2012, Mr Chaaba said many consumers seemed to have limited knowledge concerning their rights.

Mr Chaaba, however, said with various strategies that the commission put in place last year, it expected both business houses and consumers to abide by the Competition Act this year.

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