Close to K6 million in refunds was cumulatively recovered by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) across the country from the consumer cases handled in 2023.
By way of contrast, the cumulative total recovered by the commission in 2022 was around K5 million refunds.
CCPC Executive Director, Brian Lingela, expressed optimism that the increase in amount of recoveries was testament to the fact that the commission’s presence in all the provincial centres in Zambia was helpful in promoting consumer welfare.
Lingela said this at the 2023 annual performance briefing in Lusaka on Friday.
“In 2023, the commission cumulatively recovered a total K6, 770, 054.71) compared to a total of K5, 181, 158.00 in the prior year,” he said.
In handling consumer cases in 2023, Lingela said the commission recovered K4,572,204.49 in refunds and K2,197,850.22 in replacements and repairs from the various cases investigated across the country.
Meanwhile, Lingela stated that CCPC in 2023 resolved a total of 1,854 consumer cases.
He explained that these involved 2,219 provisions of the CCPC act as compared to 2,064 cases involving 2,412 provisions of the act resolved in 2022.
Lingela attributed the decrease in the number of cases to the commission’s referral of complaints to sector regulators, particularly in cases where issues were technical and the sector regulators were better placed to handle them.
He said 21 traders were fined for violating consumer protection provisions of the act with fines ranging from 0.5 percent to 0.8 percent of their respective annual turnovers.
“In our imposition of fines, we are cognisant of the need to ensure proportionality, which creates a proper balance between compliance and the need to prevent business closure.
“Of the cases handled, the retail sector accounted for 36.82 percent, the financial services sector represented 30.60 percent, and the information and communication technology (ICT) sector accounted for 15.05 percent.
“Most retail sector concerns related to traders failing to supply goods bought on hire-purchase and the supply of defective goods, especially mobile phones and television sets,” Lingela said.
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