CCPC Fines Levy Mwanawasa Medical University, Red Sea Import and Export Ltd, Prav Holdings Ltd and Jimuceci Enterprises Limited
On 9th August 2022 the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) Board of Commissioners at its 57th Board of Commissioners meeting for the adjudication of cases, deliberated on 41 consumer protection cases and 9 competition cases.
One of the cases involved Levy Mwanawasa Medical University which was fined 0.5% of its annual turnover for engaging in unfair trading practices. Investigations by the Commission revealed that Levy Mwanawasa Medical University had failed to award degrees to BSc Clinical Science students of the period 2016 to 2019 despite them successfully completing the programme. The CCPC established that Levy Mwanawasa Medical University did not award the students a BSc Science in Clinical Sciences degree within a reasonable period around the agreed time.
The Board of Commissioners found that the conduct by Levy Mwanawasa Medical University was in contravention of Section 49(5) of the Competition and Consumer Protection Act (“the Act”) as they had failed to deliver a service within a reasonable period around the agreed time. The Board of Commissioners has also directed Levy Mwanawasa Medical University to expedite the awarding of the degrees to the students in accordance with Section 49(7) of the Act.
In addition, the Board of Commissioners has fined distributors namely Red Sea Import and Export Ltd, Prav Holdings Ltd and Jimuceci Enterprises Limited 4%, 3% and 3% of their annual turnovers respectively for engaging in restrictive business practices. This followed an investigation which revealed that the three were tying and bundling low demand clear beer products with high demand clear beer products. The practice of tying products disadvantages Small and Medium Enterprises (“SMEs”) financially as their working capital is reduced by 50% i.e they are forced to purchase products they would otherwise not have purchased and incur the losses of low demand products.
Consumers/traders wanting to purchase high demand beer products were compelled to buy low demand beer products, a conduct which was found to be in violation of Section 16(1); Section 16(2)(d) as read together with Section 15 of the Competition and Consumer Protection Act (“the Act”). The Board has since directed the three to cease the practice of tying products.
ALLEGED DUMPING OF VEGETABLES ON THE LOCAL MARKET
The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (Commission) has noted with concern the call by the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) to farmers to “refrain from dumping” several fresh vegetables on the local market.
This call is an afront to limiting access to markets to the various farmers that are producing to scale and is against the spirit of competition promotion. Encouraging competition by limiting production will only serve to disadvantage the local economy and will subject consumers to higher prices. Instead, stakeholders should be seen to encourage scaling up production, value addition and linkages including with export markets.
While Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are instrumental and requires nurturing, that should be done through capacity and scale to match up and not discouraging the established to scale down. We therefore would like to guide Associations such as the ZNFU and other institutions that unwarranted interference with markets that result in anti-competitive outcomes only disadvantage Zambian enterprises in the long run. Any form of output quotas, production cuts, fixing of prices or any other anti-competitive conduct should not be encouraged. ZNFU should take the advice of the Republican President to open up to new opportunities that the surplus vegetables bring such as promoting export markets and setting up cold storage facilities.
The Commission would like to encourage the farmers to continue supplying the markets the best they can and to expand production through value addition and market linkages more so with our SMEs.
Over K19,000 Worth of Expired Goods Seized in Kasama and Zimba Districts
The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) in partnership with a joint team of health inspectors from Kasama Municipal and Zimba District Councils (KMZDC) have seized assorted expired goods worth K19,016.35 during inspections conducted in Kasama and Zimba districts of Northern and Southern provinces respectively. The inspections were conducted on 10th to 17th of June, 2022 in 128 trading premises of Kasama and Zimba Central Business Districts (CBDs).
The seized goods include assorted carbonated drinks, biscuits and cosmetic products among others. The goods were expired and therefore not fit for human consumption. Selling or offering for sale products not fit for purpose or expired is against the Competition and Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) No. 24 of 2010 as well as the Food and Safety Act No. 7 of 2019.
In light of this, CCPC and its partners wish to advise the traders to abide by the law and desist from engaging in unfair trading practices or any conduct that erode consumer welfare.
Additionally, all suppliers, retailers and distributors are warned to seize selling unsuitable products which have exceeded their shelf life.
Meanwhile, consumers are advised to be proactive and report perpetrators of such unfair trading practices by calling CCPC’s toll-free line 5678 or visiting any of its offices located countrywide or any nearest local council.
The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) is a statutory body under Ministry of Commerce Trade and Industry.The CCPC was established under the Competition and Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) No. 24 of 2010 of the Laws of Zambia.
Its Mission Statement is to safeguard and promote economic welfare by prohibiting anti-competitive and unfair business practices in Zambia.
In order to align its operations to good governance practices, the CCPC wishes to recruit for the following position:
INVESTIGATOR – MANSA OFFICE, LUAPULA PROVINCE (1)
Directorate: Consumer Protection
Reports To: Provincial Investigator
Job Grade: CCPC/E
1. Undertakes effective investigation and assessment of cases.
2. Undertakes effective development and implementation of IEC programmes.
3. Undertakes effective awareness campaigns.
QUALIFICATIONS AND SKILLS
1. Full Grade Twelve (12) Certificate.
2. A Degree in Economics, Business Administration, or other related business disciplines.
3. Team player, self-starter and sober character.
4. Excellent analytical, report writing skills and good computer skills (MS Word, Excel, Power Point etc.)
5. Team player, committed, motivated and pays attention to detail.
6. Valid Driver’s License is an added advantage.
CANDIDATES FROM LUAPULA PROVINCE ARE ENCOURAGED TO APPLY
Eligible candidates are encouraged to address their physical applications to:
The Director - Human Resource and Administration
Competition and Consumer Protection Commission
4th Floor, Main Post Office
P O Box 34919
The closing date is Friday 1st July, 2022.