Hefty fines for price hikes

Hefty fines for price hikes
Published: 21 October 2018 (180 Views)
Retailers and manufacturers who increase prices of goods and services without justification will face heavy Government fines under a new consumer protection law that fosters fair business practices.

Cabinet recently approved principles of the Consumer Protection Bill, which will be tabled before Parliament soon.

The proposed law, which has been in the works for some time, coincides with a recent bout of arbitrary price increases by retailers.

The new law will give bite to the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe, which has largely been viewed as a toothless bulldog.

The law criminalises the practice of retailers and manufacturers forcing consumers to buy extra goods in order to purchase a single item.

Not displaying prices on shop shelves will also become an offence.

Furthermore, the law seeks to prohibit tele-marketing of goods and services by retailers and manufacturers without consumers' permission.

Breaching the law will attract deterrent penalties that range from fines to withdrawal of trading licences.

Industry and Commerce Deputy Minister Mr Raji Modi told The Sunday Mail last week that Government would fast-track the law as it was overdue.

He said, "Everything is now in order. The Bill is ready and now awaits to go to Parliament. The Bill has been on hold for quite some time now; thus, Government is going to work with speed so that it becomes law.

"We want to create a law for consumer protection like most countries have done, a law that will give teeth to the Consumer Council (of Zimbabwe) to make sure there are no unfair business practices and unjustified price increases."

Through the new law, it will become possible, Deputy Minister Modi said, to rein in businesses that profiteer at consumers' expense.

"The law will be able to take certain action where appropriate. For example, at the moment, when there are unwarranted price (increases), there is nothing much that can be done, the best they can do is just complain about that and it ends there.

"All along we have been working on this Bill and it now awaits the process of being tabled in Parliament," he said.

CCZ executive director Ms Rosemary Siyachitema said the law would protect consumers.

"This will be a national law that will have a body which will have powers to prosecute and incarcerate perpetrators of such crimes," she said.

"Now consumers have a law to fall back on as all along we used moral suasion. We now have a law to fall on. We are glad that as CCZ, we have been part of making the law."

Some retailers have been demanding payment in US dollars only.

To cushion consumers and restore sanity in the market, Government last week introduced a price monitoring system along the production value chain from manufacturers to retailers.

- zimpapers

Tags: Heft, Fines, Price,

You May Like These Videos


There are no comments.

Latest stories

Release Pastor Evan Mawarire & others unconditionally

by Don Chigumba | 16 January 2019 | 270 Views

'Mnangagwa bring back our husbands' Olinda Chapel fumes

by Olinda Chapel-Nkomo | 16 January 2019 | 214 Views

WATCH: Protestors take over Zim embassy in UK

by Mandla Ndlovu | 16 January 2019 | 237 Views

Chamisa's MDC calls on Cyril Ramaphosa to intervene in Zimbabwe

by Business Day | 16 January 2019 | 175 Views

'South Africa has turned a blind eye on Zimbabwe'

by Staff reporter | 16 January 2019 | 125 Views

Mnangagwa calls for 'calm, peace'

by Staff reporter | 16 January 2019 | 92 Views

Mnangagwa restores internet access

by Mandla Ndlovu | 16 January 2019 | 141 Views

Zimbabwe crisis: What you need to know

by Staff reporter | 16 January 2019 | 89 Views

BREAKING: Zimbabwe restores internet connectivity

by Staff reporter | 16 January 2019 | 93 Views

US wants Mnangagwa to restore internet

by Staff reporter | 16 January 2019 | 152 Views

PHOTOS: #ZimbabweShutDown day 3 - Beitbridge update

by Beitbridge Resident | 16 January 2019 | 184 Views

BREAKING: President Mnangagwa speaks out

by Mandla Ndlovu | 16 January 2019 | 164 Views

Violence must be condemned at all levels

by Dr Masimba Mavaza | 16 January 2019 | 98 Views

WATCH: Zimbabweans protest in Pretoria Embassy

by Mandla Ndlovu | 16 January 2019 | 116 Views

Britain warns its citizens in Zimbabwe

by UK gov | 16 January 2019 | 132 Views

PHOTOS: Evan Mawarire being arrested

by Mandla Ndlovu | 16 January 2019 | 131 Views

Zimbabwe kills commerce and lights, by killing the internet

by Staff reporter | 16 January 2019 | 117 Views

Zimbabwe crisis a warning to SA, says opposition leader

by Business Day | 16 January 2019 | 107 Views

Mugabe-aligned NPF calls for Mnangagwa's resignation

by African News Agency | 16 January 2019 | 136 Views

Calls for diaspora protests at Zimbabwe embassies

by newzimbabwe.com | 16 January 2019 | 108 Views

Soldiers continue to patrol streets

by aljazeera.com | 16 January 2019 | 122 Views

Mnangagwa to buy 'State-of-The-Art' Russian arms

by Sputniknews.com | 16 January 2019 | 125 Views

Mnangagwa says Zimbabwe protests 'fizzling out'

by newzimbabwe | 16 January 2019 | 96 Views

Zimbabweans need to do a serious soul searching

by Dr Masimba Mavaza | 16 January 2019 | 119 Views

PHOTOS: Mnangagwa, Mthuli Ncube meet Putin as #ZimbabweShutDown

by Staff Reporter | 16 January 2019 | 128 Views

WATCH: Man in civilian clothing shoots directly at protestors

by Mandla Ndlovu | 16 January 2019 | 140 Views

'Opposition leaders arrested as scores are killed' says Dzamara

by Mandla Ndlovu | 16 January 2019 | 125 Views

Latest update on day 2 of Army killings

by Mandla Ndlovu | 16 January 2019 | 126 Views

#ZimbabweShutDown enters day 3

by AP | 16 January 2019 | 149 Views

Zimbabwe businesses losing millions as shutdown continues

by Staff reporter | 15 January 2019 | 160 Views

South Africa 'confident' Mnangagwa govt will 'resolve situation'

by Staff reporter | 15 January 2019 | 155 Views

Malema's EFF 'extends its solidarity' with the people of Zimbabwe

by Staff reporter | 15 January 2019 | 169 Views

'Internet shutdown is unconstitutional,' says Jonathan Moyo

by Ndou Paul | 15 January 2019 | 165 Views

May's Brexit deal rejected by 230 votes

by BBC | 15 January 2019 | 114 Views