'Shopping products consumer's right to redress in Zambia
Mukuka, Patience C.
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The Competition and Consumer Protection Act in Section 49(1) provides that: "A person or an enterprise shall not supply a consumer with goods that are defective, not fit for the purpose for which they are normally used or for the purpose that the consumer indicated to the person or the enterprise." It further provides that the person or enterprise who contravenes this section shall pay a penalty and the consumer is entitled to a refund or replacement of the defective good. This paper analyses this section and attempts to investigate its meaning. This paper found that in light of section 49 which provides for the consumer's right to redress, the Competition and Consumer Commission has been entrusted with handling complaints from consumers. It has put in place a redressal mechanism through which consumer's complaints are heard. This paper observes that the provision in section 49 is a necessary step in the furtherance of consumer's right to redress. The adequacy of this provision also relates to the enforcement mechanism and awareness. The enforcement of this provision is not adequate because the Consumer Protection Authority has limitations which range from financial to human resource limitations as well as consumers not being acquainted with their rights. It further recognizes that the key stakeholders have major roles to play in promoting and enforcing these rights both at policy and practical level. These include the media. Consumer Protection Authority, sector regulators, academia, policy makers and the civil society. The recommendations are that consumer awareness should be strengthened; there should be sufficient resource funding, improvement of relations between consumer protection bodies, separation of competition and consumer laws, decentralization of the Consumer Protection Authority, Improve consumer education and put up a toll free line to encourage reporting of cases of violation.
- Law