In his welcoming remarks, CCPC Executive Director, Chilufya Sampa acknowledged the efforts being made by CUTS international and the entire Civil Society Network on Competition in pushing for the World Competition Day. “This is a proposal by the International Network for Civil Society on Competition being spearheaded by CUTS to adopt 5th December, as World Competition Day. The commission and CUTS in Zambia have organised this press briefing so that the general public can be educated about these developments.
CUTS International Lusaka Board Chairman, Ambassador Love Mtesa, observed that, though, there haven’t been many or any cartel cases unearthed in Zambia, the country was not immune to cartels. “This mainly could be because of the limited provisions in the previous Act which did not provide a framework for exposing cartels. We appreciate and welcome the new Competition and Consumer Protection Act) which is more effective and appreciates elements such as leniency programmes – a proven remedy to exposing cartels. Countries like South Africa have knocked down pernicious cartels using a leniency programme,” he said.
He further encouraged the commission to consider putting up a strong position to UNCTAD in support of this Day as other countries were doing.
And speaking on behalf of the Commission, Vice Board Chairman Commissioner Akapelwa Simomo said the commission was in support of declaring 5th December as World Competition Day and were of the view that the declaration would bring global and national awareness on the need to put value on Competition Principals and Rules in economic policy formulation and governance.
In view of the theme, Commissioner Simomo noted the pernicious effects of a cartel business from the view of destroying the economy and damaging the consumer welfare. “in order to address cartels, the new Competition and Consumer Protection Act provides for a leniency, a kind of whistle blowing framework which allows participants in a cartel to report cartel conduct to the commission and so far, the programmes has not been successful owing to lack of awareness and understanding by the business players.
He however said that the commission has not been sitting idle to wait for persons to report the conduct to the commission citing a dawn raid in the motor vehicles sector where garages colluded to fix prices for motor vehicle repair services of which the investigations were being finalized. Other prioritised sectors are contraction, tourism, finance, banking, agriculture and the services sector such the Law Association of Zambia citing standard service charges as a major concern to competition.
And speaking to the media in separate interviews, on the sidelines of the press briefing, CUTS International Lusaka Centre Coordinator Simon Ng’ona, indicated that the general call from his organisation point of view was to promote democracy in the market by ensuring that restrictive business or anticompetitive practices were not allowed in the market…“we need democracy in the market and its through democracy that the benefits of an effective competition regime such as fair trading, economic efficiency and consumer welfare gains will be realised,” he said
- Statement Commemoration of the World Competition Day By Ambassador Love Mtesa
- Remarks By The Chairman Of The Competition & Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) Mr. Bernard Chiwala On The Occasion To Commemorate The United Nations (UN) Competition Principles & Rules