bills

Functions and powers of the Consumer Protection Commission

The functions of the commission shall be to-

(a) protect consumers from unconscionable, unreasonable, unjust or otherwise

improper trade practices; as well as deceptive, misleading, unfair or fraudulent conduct;

(b) conduct conciliation and arbitration between parties;

(c) Promote fair business practices;

(d) co-ordinate and network consumer activities and liaise with consumer

organizations and the competent authorities and agencies locally and outside Zimbabwe to protect consumer interests;

(e) promote consumer confidence, awareness, empowerment, and the development of a culture of consumer responsibility, through individual and group education, vigilance, advocacy and activism;

(f) provide for a consistent accessible and efficient system of consensual

resolution of disputes and redress arising from consumer transactions;

(g) refer matter to and appear before any court of law, as permitted or

required by this Act;

(h) negotiate and conclude undertakings and consent orders;

(I) issue and enforce compliance notices in terms of section 68 of this Act;

(J) receive complaints concerning alleged prohibited conduct and offences;

And deal with those complaints;

(k) investigate and evaluate alleged prohibited conduct and offences;

(I) maintain a record of and publish annual reports on consumer complaints

And the outcomes of any hearings;

(m) encourage and assist governmental and official organizational support to

Further the interests of consumers and consumer organizations;

(n) refers to the Competition Commission or any other relevant authority any

concerns regarding market share, anti-competitive behaviour or conduct

that may be prohibited in terms of the Competition Act [ Chapter 14:28]

or other relevant Acts;

(o) cooperate with other consumer protection authorities to obtain redress

across borders for consumers affected by fraudulent and deceptive

commercial practices;

(p) promote international co-operation in the comparative testing of consumer

goods and services and facilitate exchange of test methods, plans and results;

(q) recommend the effective implementation of this Act and any other laws

affecting consumers;

(r) monitor-

(i) the consumer market to ensure that prohibited conduct and offences

are prevented, detected and prosecuted; and

(ii) the effectiveness of accredited consumer groups, industry codes of

conduct and alternative dispute resolution schemes, service delivery

to consumers by organs of state, and any regulatory authority exercising

jurisdiction over consumer mattes within a particular industry or sector;

(s) regulate the accreditation of consumer protection advocacy bodies and

industry associations; and

(t) exercise any other function that may be conferred or imposed on the

commission by or in terms of this Act or any other enactment.

Powers of the Consumer Protection Commission

  1. Any person who has failed to have their dispute resolved through

Alternative dispute resolution may approach the Commission, in the

Prescribed manner and form, concerning the dispute.

  1. Upon initiating or receiving a case in terms of subsection (1) the

Commission may-

  1. Refer the case to another regulatory authority with jurisdiction over the matter for investigation; or
  2. Direct an inspector to inspect or investigate the case within fourteen days; or
  3. Conciliate or mediate the case.

(3) At any time during an investigation, the Commission may designate one or more persons with relevant expertise to assist the inspector conducting the investigation.

  1. The Commission may-
  1. Initiate the proceedings where it considers necessary; or
  2. When directed to do so by the Minister or on the request of-
  1. an accredited consumer advocacy Group; or
  2. a regulatory authority; or
  3. any person acting in the public interest or on behalf of a group or class of affected persons;

refer a case to the court concerning any alleged prohibited conduct.

  1. The Commission may issue a notice of non-referral to the complainant in the prescribed form where the-
  1. Case appears to be frivolous and vexatious; or
  2. Facts alleged in the case do not constitute grounds for a remedy in terms of this Act; or
  3. The case has prescribed in terms of the Prescription Act

[Chapter 8:11].

REFERENCE

Consumer Protection Act

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Daniel Chigundu

Daniel Chigundu is a male journalist in Zimbabwe and has been practising since September 2009. He used to the editor for The Business Connect (newspaper) in Harare, has his own news website Tourism Focus which is biased towards the tourism sector. Daniel is also working with Magamba Network on their project called Open Parliament where they do live coverage of Parliamentary activities on Twitter and Facebook. He is currently the secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Parliamentary Journalists Forum, is a member of Zimbabwe Small Broadcasters Association and a board member of Digital Communication Network. He holds a Diploma in Communication and Journalism from the Christian College of Southern Africa (CCOSA), a certificate in Youth leadership training from the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), a certificate in Citizen Journalism from Magamba Network and is currently a first-year student at Zimbabwe Open University studying for a Bachelor of Arts Honours in Ethics and Organisational Leadership.

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