24 January 2013

Zambia: CCPC Targets Cartels

THE Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has prioritised curbing of cartels in the year 2013 aiming at further protecting consumers from exploitation.

CCPC chief executive officer Chilufya Sampa said cartels lead to exploitation of consumers and promote uncompetitive business practices among business players.

Mr Sampa said this year CCPC would prioritise the issues of cartels that seem prevalent among the business players in the country.

"This year we have decided I think to prioritise the curbing of cartels by sensitising both consumers and business houses on the dangers in engaging themselves in cartels," Mr Sampa said in an interview in Lusaka.

He said after sensitising the business houses the commission would be enforcing the Competition Act on those members of the public flouting the competition and consumer laws.

Mr Sampa said CCPC would work with a lot of stakeholders such as the civil society and the Non-Governmental Organisations in the country in sensetising and bringing awareness about the dangers of engaging in uncompetitive business practices.

He disclosed that recently CCPC was peer reviewed by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) which found that the Zambian competition and consumer laws were in line with the internationally-recognised best practices.

Mr Sampa said CCPC would continue carrying its mandate of bringing awareness so that its presence was felt by the business community and those with the responsibility of dispensing justice in the country.

"The major challenge we face as the commission are visibility and presence. By visibility I mean the commission needs to be visible to all the sector groups in the country and by presence we mean we have no physical presence in most parts of our country because we are only in Lusaka and Ndola," he said.

Although the commission appointed 70 inspectors in the districts, the impact could not be felt in that most of them like council heath inspectors have other core duties which they perform.

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