PeP President Sean Tembo
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PATRIOTS for Economic Progress (PeP) president Sean Tembo has challenged the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) and the Government to prevail on the business community to reduce commodity prices following the appreciation of the local currency.

Mr. Tembo said he had noted with regret that despite the exchange rate between the Zambian Kwacha and the United States Dollar appreciating by more than 30 per cent in the past two months, there had been no corresponding reduction in the shelf price of goods in shops.

He argued that when the Kwacha was depreciating, prices were rising everyday under the excuse that it was getting expensive to import goods and that the cost of operations was higher.

“This failure by businesses to reduce prices after the exchange rate appreciated from about K23 to about K16 per US Dollar in two months, simply means that businesses are now making supernormal profits and consumers are being exploited,” Mr. Tembo said.

He added “As PEP we call upon the UPND administration in general and Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister Chipoka Mulenga as well as the CCPC in particular to prevail on the business community to reduce prices of goods by the same proportion of the appreciation of the Kwacha,” he said.

Mr. Tembo said the prevailing situation constituted unfair trading and was a violation of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) as well as United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) regulations on fair trading.

He reminded the Government that there was no such thing as a 100 per cent free market economy and that every economy required Government intervention and regulation, otherwise the common citizen ends up being exploited.

And when contacted CCPC senior public relations officer Namukolo Kasumpa said in an interview that she would revert back on the matter.


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