CCPC Board of Commissioners chairperson Kelvin Bwalya said the Commission would initially spread to provincial headquarters across Zambia and later go down to various districts.
Mr Bwalya said Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister Emmanuel Chenda and the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry Stephen Mwansa were supportive to the idea of spreading the Commission’s presence countrywide.
He was speaking in an interview at Zambezi Sun Hotel in Livingstone yesterday on the sidelines of the just ended fifth African Consumer Protection Dialogue Conference.
The conference was organised by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) in conjunction with the United States (US) Federal Trade Commission (FTC) under the theme “Opportunities, Challenges and New Horizons – Moving Cross Border Enforcement Collaboration Forward”.
Various stakeholders such as Competition and Consumer Protection Authorities within and outside Africa, Government ministries, Civil Society Organisations and the private sector attended the conference to share information on global emerging issues on competition and consumer protection.
“I have already been in touch with Government and we have discussed with Commerce, Trade and Industry Permanent Secretary and the Minister.
The two are very helpful over the project and they promised the Commission that they want us to spread initially to provincial headquarters and later go down to districts,” he said.
Mr Bwalya said the Commission already had an office in Kitwe and Chipata serving for consumers on the Copperbelt and Eastern Provinces respectively.
“We are now planning to have an office in Livingstone on full time to target Southern Province consumers although we already have officers here.
We will also go to Solwezi for North-Western Province consumers and then move to Western Province so that trade can have a place where customers can go and complain on consumer violations,” Mr Bwalya said.
He said the Commission had already started looking for office space in provincial headquarters and expressed hope that the project would be budgeted for in next year’s national budget.
“Obviously you understand budgetary constraints but we are working very hard and Government has promises to help us.
We are hoping that the project can be budgeted for next year. The Commerce Permanent Secretary Mr Mwansa left us to go this week to go and attend a budget meeting with the Ministry of Finance. He emphasised that he needs to bring this issue to the fore so that Government can budget for it next year,” Mr Bwalya said.
On the just ended conference, Mr Bwalya said one of the lessons Zambia picked was that cyber crimes were on the increase.
With the help of Federal Trade Commission of the United States of America, we are confident that Africa will come up with a working formality and secretariat which will help document and learn how to use that data to catch the criminals,” Mr Bwalya said.