WHAT WE DO
Currently, we are aggressively driving at ensuring we have the Consumer Protection Act to enhance consumer protection in the country
Lobbying & Advocacy
The CCZ has successfully lobbied government and other stakeholders in effecting and ensuring laws and practices that uphold basic principles of consumer protection hence the Consumer Protective Legislation that are in place. The CCZ has successfully clamoured for the enactment of legislation such as:
- Consumer Contract Act
- Competition Act
- Class Action Act
- Small Claims Court Act
- Patients Charter
- National Incomes and Pricing Commission Act (2007)
Currently, CCZ is in the forefront of pushing for the Zimbabwe Consumer Protection Law, the draft Bill is to be tabled before the Parliament. The launch and National Consultative Workshops of the Draft Consumer Protection Bill were spearheaded by the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe.
As part of the lobbying and advocacy, the CCZ is a member of various economic groups such as the Tripartite Negotiation Forum (TNF), Parliamentary Portfolio Committees on Economic Development, National Economic Consultative Forum (NECF) and a number of boards that have consumer interests. The CCZ successfully lobbied for Small Claims Courts and their decentralisation from Harare and Bulawayo provinces to Mutare and hopefully in the coming years will be established in other provinces. The CCZ contributes to national policies by making submissions for consideration to the pre / post National Budget and Fiscal Policy issues as part of the advocacy for consumer friendly policies.
The CCZ handles a diversity of complaints between consumers and suppliers of goods and services and by so doing acts as an arbitrator and/or mediator between disputing parties. CCZ assists consumers to get redress whenever they are prejudiced in commerce. In areas where it cannot help, the organization refers the cases to the Small Claims Court or lawyers or any such other places where consumers can be assisted. Some of the complaints the CCZ has received include the following:
- Substandard electrical gadgets (i.e. televisions, refrigerators, electric jugs etc)
- Substandard mobile phones handsets and faulty batteries
- Adulterated beverages especially alcoholic
- Unfulfilled contracts or Agreements
- Food stuffs – pie with a bandage
Consumer Education is one of the functional core areas of the CCZ . Consumers have an important role to play if their rights are to be protected. they have to speak up in order for them to be heard. however, they can only do that if they are educated on their rights and responsibilities. The organisation therefore, goes out to educate consumers through lectures, newspaper articles and develops informative articles on various topical consumer issues and gives warning on things to be on the lookout for through the print and electronic media, focus desks, focus group discussions, workshops and seminars to enable consumers to make informed decisions in the marketplace. Educated consumers have the capacity to actively participate in the policy making and their views can be represented when decisions are being made. An educated consumer is a protected consumer, because he or she cannot be easily taken advantage of.
CCZ has partnered with various organisations like the Zimbabwe Women’s Resource Center and Network to institutionalize gender budgeting and to grow Consumer Action Clubs, Community Working Group on Health, developed the Patients Charter together with the Ministry of Health and Childcare, joint consumer education programs with Zimbabwe Electricity Regulatory Authority (ZERA), Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC), Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) and Nestle Zimbabwe.
CCZ has exhibited at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) and Harare and Provincial Agricultural Shows. As part of CCZ’s strategy to reach out to as many consumers as possible, the fairs provide the opportunity to educate consumers about what CCZ does, as well as networking with other organisations.
The organisation works together with various stakeholders to promote exchange of ideas, as well as to represent the consumer perspective, thereby upholding consumer interests. CCZ staff continue to serve on various boards and committees of other organisations that seek to protect the rights of the consumer and for purposes of lobbying and advocacy. CCZ sits on the following boards and committees:
- Anti Money Laundering Advisory Committee
- Digital Finance Thematic Committee Working Group
- Standards Association of Zimbabwe
- Rent Board
- Health Professions Authority
- Pharmacist Council
- Medicines Control Authority
- Buy Zimbabwe Board
- Community Working Group on Health
- Food Fortification Committee
CCZ also participates in regional and international meetings such as SADC and Consumers International conferences, government ministries, non governmental organisation, retailers, health organisations and other consumer organisation meetings.
The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe is a full member of the Consumers International (CI)since 2000 to date, CI is a federation of consumer organisations throughout the world. in the past CCZ has been on the Council and currently the CCZ Executive Director sits on the Board of Trustees that charts priority areas on consumers worldwide.
The CCZ carries out regular price surveys, which enable it to monitor price trends on basic commodities. From these findings, family of six basket for a low-income urban earner is produced. Many employers and Works Council use the family of six basket for wage negotiations. Individuals also use them to do their monthly shopping and budgets. The CCZ also carries out regular surveys on the following:
- School uniforms price survey
- Pharmacy price survey (most commonly used medicines)
- Cost of mobile phones and land line tariffs
- Standards and quality of goods
- Electricity tariffs (bench marking)
- Mobile money tariffs
- Bank charges
- Baseline survey
- Market surveillance
The CCZ also carries out regular surveys on topical consumer issues for the benefit of consumers and to enhance lobbying and advocacy.e