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‘CEMENT PRICES MUST FALL’ AS CCPC SETS DEADLINE.

By NOEL IYOMBWA

ALLL the three cement producers that were investigated for restrictive business are expected to revert to the pre-cartel prices by May 7 this year, the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has said.

CCPC Senior Public Relations Officer, Namukolo Kasumpa, said the directive takes effect 30 days after the parties receive the Board ‘s decision.

Ms Kasumpa said the three cement producers, Lafarge Zambia Plc, Dangote Cement Zambia Limited and Mpande Limestone Limited confirmed receiving the Board’s decision on April, 8 2021.

She said the 30 days window period was still open given the date the parties received the Board’s decision.

“All three cement producers, Lafarge Zambia Plc, Dangote Cement Zambia Limited and Mpande Limestone Limited that were investigated for restrictive business practices by the Commission have confirmed receiving the Board’s decision on April 8, 2021,” Ms Kasumpa said.

CCPC investigations into the high prices of cement on the market found Lafarge Zambia Plc, Dangote Cement Zambia Limited and Mpande Limestone Limited wanting.

The CCPC fined Lafarge Zambia Plc and Mpande Limestone Limited for price fixing, with the two cement manufacturing entities expected to each pay 20 percent of their 2019 and 2020 turnovers while Dangote was forgiven after complying during the probe.

It also ordered the slashing of cement prices from the current average prices of K140 per 50kg bag of cement to a range of between US$4.5 to US$5 which translates to K110 per 50kg bag at the current exchange rate of K22 per 1 US dollar.

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