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CURB UNFAIR BEER PRICE HIKE, GOVT URGED

By BUUMBA CHIMBULU

ZAMBIAN Breweries has called on Government agencies such as the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) to curb the unfair pricing of beer by some ‘unscrupulous’ liquor traders.

Some traders have hiked prices of clear beer in Lusaka following the shortage of the commodity on the market triggered by the shutdown aimed at facilitating installation of a new equipment at the Zambian Breweries plant.

As a result of the shortage, some traders have hiked the prices of clear beer by over K5, riding on the scarcity of the commodity on the market.

Clear beer is being sold at prices that are uneconomical and this calls for Government agencies such as the CCPC to curb the unfair pricing, Zambian Breweries Corporate Affairs Director, Ezekiel Sekele.

Mr Sekele warned the unscrupulous traders that they would not have a window to unfairly increase the pries of clear beer products once production was improved.

Average price for a small size Mosi is K10 while big one is K15 while the big castle goes for K17 while a small one is K10, Castle Light big bottle is about K18 and small quantity is K10.

A small bottle of Black label is K10 while Eagle Lager for a big bottle is K14 and small one is K7 but all the brands had been adjusted upwards by K5.

“This time around some unscrupulous traders are even hiking prices where some of the clear beer prices are being sold at prices that are uneconomical but then for us as Zambian breweries and following the competition law, we are not in a position to enforce or influence the direction of the prices.

“We have a free market system in our economy and there are agencies within our country who are able to manage such prices when they are taking place. But for us, we only give a recommended price and the market itself finds itself where they can sale the product,” he said.

Earlier this week, Mr Sekele explained that normal supply was expected next week before being shut down again for a similar exercise next month.

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