Local News

CONTINUED CEMENT OVERPRICING IRKS CONSUMER BODY

By KETRA KALUNGA

IT’S immoral for Lafarge Zambia Plc and Mpande Limestone Limited to defy the order by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) to reduce cement prices, says the Zambia Consumer Association (ZACA)

The two cement companies are still selling a 50-kilogram bag of cement between K135 and K145 over a month after CCPC fined them for non-competitive prices and ordered that the price should reduce to about K110.

ZACA has urged CCPC to expedite investigations being conducted countrywide regarding the price of cement to prevent more people from being exploited by the cartel.

CCPC indicated that it would take action against the two cement companies after concluding investigations.

ZACA executive director, Juba Sakala, said in an interview that CCPC should expedite investigations so that action could be taken against the two defiant cement companies.

Mr Sakala advised Lafarge Zambia Plc and Mpande Limestone Limited to follow the directive by CCPC instead of deliberating choosing to exploit Zambians.

Such an action, he said, has the potential to cast them out of business.

Mr. Sakala said it was unfortunate that the two cement companies had decided to continue exploiting consumers even when they were fined for price-fixing and division of markets in the cement market.

 “In business, you should follow rules or you are out of business, so what the cement companies are doing is an exploitation of consumers so they should adhere to the order given by CCPC,” he said.

The Board of Commissioners of CCPC ordered Lafarge Zambia Plc, Dangote Cement Zambia Limited, and Mpande Limestone Limited to revert to the pre-cartel prices ranging between US$4.50 – US$5 for a period of one year from the date of receipt of the Board Decision pursuant to  Section 59 (3) (b) of the Act.

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