The World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) celebrations held annually on the 15th of March 2017 are an integral part of the global consumer movement. This report discusses the history of the celebrations and highlights the stated purpose of holding the celebrations. In addition, the report moves this discussion from the global to the localised stage by briefly considering what the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) envisaged for this year’s celebrations in Zimbabwe.
In setting about meeting the objectives of this year’s WCRD celebrations the CCZ undertook several activities. This report lists and describes these activities in some detail, in order to document the progression of the planning that went into delivering the celebrations to the consumer movement in the country. Some of the activities were purely in-house and others related to interaction with the public through various media.
This year’s theme was: BUILDING A DIGITAL WORLD CONSUMERS CAN TRUST and the event drew participation and animation from leading market players and key stakeholders. The participation of regulatory, legislative players as well as academia and the media was meant to achieve the objective of bringing public and legislative attention ot the need for consumer protection in the context of digital transactions. The gathering also agreed on the need to enhance and streamline legislation dealing with consumer protection in digital space, design focussed and intensive consumer digital rights education campaigns as well as facilitate more efficiency as plastic and mobile money uptake continues to increase. The issue of cost of digitally-mediated services was thoroughly discussed and indications were that the costs are inordinately too high. The regulatory bodies present were implored to protect Zimbabwean consumers and businesses from foreign entities, some of whom stand accused of externalising money and operating outside the banking structures.