Warning to Schools on the Imposition of Suppliers for the Sale of Face Masks and Sanitizers
The Competition and Tariff Commission (‘the Commission’) is a statutory body established in terms of the Competition Act [Chapter 14:28] (the “Act”). Its mandate, as espoused in the Act, is the promotion and maintenance of competition in all sectors of the Zimbabwean economy. The ultimate goal of competition regulation is to improve consumer welfare through creating an environment where economic actors interact freely leading to creation of wealth at individual and business level.
The Commission notes that Government announced the re-opening of schools on the 14th of September 2020 for Cambridge examinations classes; and on the 28th of September 2020 for ZIMSEC examination classes. It also approved that ZIMSEC examinations commence on the 1st of December 2020. In this respect, the Commission advises all stakeholders – including schools, parents, guardians and scholars, that the practice of imposing a supplier of face masks and sanitizers on schools, pupils, parents, guardians, is an anticompetitive practice prohibited in terms of section 2 of the Competition Act [Chapter 14:28 ]. The practice negatively impacts on consumer welfare as it limits guardians and parents’ choice of buying masks and sanitizers from alternative cheaper or quality suppliers.
The Commission will not condone such exploitation of the vulnerable society during the Covid-19 pandemic period; and will not hesitate to undertake enforcement actions against any school found to contravene the Competition Act, pre- and post- the opening of schools. Stakeholders are therefore requested to approach the Commission with information on any forced sale of face masks and sanitizers during this Covid-19 pandemic period as parents, guardians and scholars exercise their right to make choices of where to purchase face masks and sanitizers.
Stakeholders can contact the Commission at Number 23 Broadlands, Emerald Hill or email email@example.com or on WhatsApp number +26371 578 3923