MONOPOLY has a negative impact on the economic growth of any country, says Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) executive director Chilufya Sampa.
Mr Sampa said in any business environment there were people who influenced market prices because they knew certain goods could only be found with them and this had a negative impact on the welfare of consumers..
He said the commission’s mandate was to discourage monopolistic tendencies as it was unacceptable that some companies hiked their prices abnormally, claiming the cost of doing business in Zambia was high when in fact not.
Mr Sampa said the fact that investors were still investing in Zambia meant that they were reaping their rewards, adding that with competition in place, firms would fight each other to secure consumers for their products.
“Competition law is not there to protect individuals but it allows everyone to participate on the market freely,” he said. Mr Sampa explained that regulations should be fair to suit the business environment so that investors were not disadvantaged.
He said there was always an alternative when designing regulations to attract more investors for economic growth.
Mr Sampa appealed to the Government to let markets regulate themselves to help the commission to deal with the cartels which were a hindrance to the economy.
And CCPC chief investigator for cartels Naomi Fulaza said they were cartels which were aimed at frustrating the economy in the country.
She explained that some people who were in the same line of business shared and agreed on certain trends such as pricing for their best interest.
Ms Fulaza warned that such people could be prosecuted and jailed if found wanting because they were harmful to the economy.
She said the commission was yet to finalize some of the cases of cartels they were handling in a bid to enhance competition and consumer welfare for the benefit of the Zambian people.
Ms Fulaza said the commission was working tirelessly because the cartel’s activities were not easy as they were secretive in nature and evidence could not be easily found.