Consumer rights day celebrated
Livingstone, March 20, 2013 ZANIS———–Southern Province Deputy
Permanent Secretary Douglas Ngimbu says consumer protection is a vital
element in efforts aimed at promoting growth in the Zambian economy
and empowering citizens.
Mr. Njimbu said government will continue to foster cooperation among
sector regulators in order to make them work more effectively and
efficiently for the benefit of consumers.
He noted that for a long time now consumers have been given a raw deal while
their rights are trampled upon adding that it was now time for justice to prevail.
“Everyday consumers in Zambia have their rights violated. Sometimes it
is out of ignorance of the traders or the consumers but many times, it
is due to the deliberate conduct by business owners”.
Mr. Ngimbu said this in Livingstone today during commemoration of
Consumer Rights day which was held under the theme: “Consumer Justice
He said it was imperative for laws to be enforced effectively to
prevent traders from undermining responsible businesses, promoting
unfair practices and undermining consumer’s confidence to exercise
Mr. Ngimbu charged that consumer protection bodies should not be
allowed to degenerate into store houses of inaction where processing
of complaint papers were delayed.
“Consumer protection bodies should not be allowed to degenerate into
store houses of inaction where papers do not move from one desk to
another leaving the common man helpless, bewildered, and shocked, with
nowhere to turn for justice,” he said.
He called on consumers not to tolerate or accept to be subjected to
poor services regardless of which sector or body they dealt with.
Meanwhile, Mr. Ngimbu said he was aware consumers had in the past
complained that despite various legislations and policies permitting
the state to intervene and protect the interests of consumers, the
enforcement machinery had been ineffective.
“Let me assure you that my government is already in the process of
reviewing various pieces of legislation and policies addressing these
challenges with the aim of strengthening consumer protection,” he
And speaking earlier, a Non Governmental Organization (NGO)
representative Derrick Mudenda was pleased to note that the right to
safety was being addressed through section 52(1) of the Competition
and Consumer Protection Act.
Mr. Mudenda however, stated that more needed to be done to enhance the
right to be informed, the right to choose, the right to be heard, the
right to consumer education and the right to a healthy environment.
He said he was hopeful commemoration of Consumer Rights Day would not
be the end of consumer awareness.
And in moving a vote of thanks Livingstone Town Clerk Vivian Chikoti
appealed to stakeholders in the city to adhere to the law by ensuring all
buildings were accessible to persons with disabilities.
Ms Chikoti said the local authority would take the lead by ensuring
the current council offices, the new town centre market currently under
construction and the Intercity bus terminus provided facilities that
were user-friendly to persons with disabilities.