Marondera residents have urged Government to introduce effective price control methods to protect consumers from unnecessary price increases.

This came out during a consultative meeting on the Consumer Protection Bill organised by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Industry and Commerce in Marondera yesterday.

The committee is chaired by Cde Joshua Sacco.

One of the residents, Mr Paul Masikati, said people were suffering because of the three-tier pricing system.

“The Bill is coming a bit late when we are already being exploited,” he said. “We have a three tier pricing system that is very unfair. We need to have a clear pricing system that is fair to everyone.

“We are also being forced to only buy uniforms from schools at exorbitant prices, but some of us are tailors who are capable of sewing the uniforms for our children. As consumers, we need to be given choices, the schools are stealing from us.”

Another resident who identified himself as Machaka, said Government needed to introduce strict measures on Commuter omnibus operators who were overcharging commuters.

“On behalf of other residents, I’m urging the Government to introduce strict measures to control public transport fares because the majority of residents are commuters. We are fed up with a situation where touts decide the fares that we pay,” he said.

Another resident said Government should reign in shop owners, mostly non-Zimbabweans who are not accepting coins, swipe and RTGS dollars.

“We are disappointed with the behaviour of some shop owners especially those that sell fabrics who are not accepting coins or even bond notes,” he said. “We need those shop owners to be monitored and compelled to accept all forms of payments allowed in the country.

“There is also no regulation in terms of prices. Some shop owners are just increasing prices without justification and even when the producers have not increased their prices like in the case of cooking oil.”

Last month, government published the Consumer Protection Bill which seeks to protect consumers of goods and services against unnecessary price increases by businesses.

The bill, cited as the Zimbabwe Consumer Protection Bill, will repeal the Consumer Contracts Act (Chapter 8:03) and provide for matters incidental to or connected with issues of consumer protection.

It seeks to protect consumers by establishing the Consumer Protection Agency and regulation of Consumer Advocacy Organisations.Herald