BINDURA residents have expressed concern over wanton price increases, sub-standard products and the three tier pricing system that they are subjected to by retailers.

Speaking during the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Industry and Commerce that visited Bindura on Tuesday to discuss the Consumer Protection Bill, the residents said they should be protected from unscrupulous business practices.

The Consumer Protection Bill has been on the cards for nearly a decade and is set to be reactivated in the second quarter of this year.

The portfolio committee’s chairperson Joshua Sacco advised the gathering that they were not responding to any questions during the meeting, but had come to gather people’s views.

“From your contributions, we will create a report that we will send to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce as well as the Parliament of Zimbabwe,” said Cde Sacco. Consumer Council of Zimbabwe executive director Mrs Rosemary Siyachitema said the responses showed a keenness to contribute to the Consumer Protection Bill.

“The responses from the residents are exciting. We have been to Chinhoyi and now Bindura and we have noticed that people are keen to savour the bill,” said Mrs Siyachitema.

“The major concerns are issues to do with prices, quality, standards and the three tier pricing system. People are also asking for the deployment of inspectors across the country to protect the consumers. Environmental issues such as companies that are polluting the environment to the detriment of people’s health also came up.”

A resident, Mrs Farai Makuza, said the bill should have provisions that protect consumers from informal money lenders.

“There is an increase in informal money lenders because most people do not have the collateral required by banks and many people end up losing their homes and property. We want the bill to include a clause that deals with informal money lenders to protect consumers,” she said.

A farmer Mrs Theresa Mutandadzi said that whenever producers decide to increase their prices they should ensure that they also improve the quality.

“It is surprising that the price of bread has increase yet the quality has deteriorated. We need to be protected from this,” she said.Herald