Ndola, March 16th, 2015 ZANIS —Government says it is committed to strengthening consumer protection laws to eradicate consumer abuse in the country.
Copperbelt Province Minister, Mwenya Musenge the Competition and Consumer Protection Act NO.24 of 2010, and the National Food and Nutrition ACT No.41 of 1967 are some of the pieces of legislation that government will strengthen to protect consumers.
“As government, we already have various pieces of legislation such as Competition and Consumer Protection Act No.24 of 2010, the National Food and Nutrition Act No.41 of 1967.
“ This is to ensure that institutions mandated to protect Consumers are empowered to protect to protect Consumers from deceptive tendencies by businesses that are meant to harm customers of unhealthy diets,” he said.
ZANIS reports that the minister said this when he officiated at the World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) commemoration in Ndola that government had come up with various pieces of legislation which are undergoing review.
He has since urged all consumer associations and Civil Society organisations (CSOs) in the country to take up the challenge of advocating and promoting local and traditional foods that are rich in diet and health.
“I wish to urge you to closely work with government and its agencies in ensuring that our nation remains healthy and of the benefits of healthy diets.
It should also be the role of the CSOs to highlight any other consumer violations to the statutory bodies that would otherwise go unabated if not captured by the statutory bodies,” Mr. Musenge said.
Meanwhile, Competition and Consumer and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) Board Member, Andrew Musukwa has urged consumers in the country to not only demand quality products at the right price, but also watch the type of food they eat.
He said Zambian businesses have an obligation to ensure that food manufacturing processes are hygienic and that ingredients used in the manufacturing processes are fully disclosed on labels.
“Consumers are obligated to food labels and particularly ingredients used, and they have the right to choose food producers that supply their products adhering to the set standards.
“ Consumers are are further obligated to know bodies tasked to oversee and advise consumers on nutrition and food safety, such as the Food and Drugs Lab, Zambia Bureau of Standards, and many other bodies,” he said.
The theme for this year’s World Consumer Rights Day is “Helping Consumers Choose Healthy Diets”.
Likili Motorways workers
Ndola, March 16th 2015 ZANIS— Workers at Likili Motorways in Ndola have lamented over bad working conditions they are subjected to at the company.
The workers who asked not to be named for fear of reprisals revealed told ZANIS in Ndola that they are forced to working long hours without overtime emoluments.
“We are told to report for work at exactly six hours in the morning and knock off at 22:00 hours in the night but come pay day, we don’t receive overtime emoluments.
“ We are appealing to the Ministry of Labour to come to our aid because what we are getting is not enough for a qualified driver,” one of the workers said.
But Likili Motorways Director, Gafar Latife said his company does not abuse the worker’s rights adding that it’s them (his workers) that are not loyal to the company.
Mr. Latife told ZANIS in an interview in Ndola that his workers, especially drivers have a habit of giving him less money than what they are supposed to cash in.
“My drivers are not loyal to the company, they would tell me the bus (60 to 65 seater) is full to the capacity but when it’s time for cashing, they would give me money for 20 people.
I have to question them for that, does that mean we are not fair? They should change their habit and become loyal to the company that is helping both management and those (workers),” he said.
Recently, government through Ndola District Commissioner’s office warned investors against ill-treating Zambians during the Company familiarisation tour in Ndola.
Stunting levels increase in Northwestern province
Solwezi/March 16, 2015, ZANIS —- North-western province medical officer Dr Simulyamana Choonga says the province is facing a serious problem
of nutrition as result of people eating unhealthy foods.
Dr Choonga says 46 percent of the population in province are living with stunted growth while eight percent who are underweight resulting from
eating unhealthy diet.
He said the statistics go to show that the issue of nutrition is a serious one not only among children but adults as well.
Nutrition assessment conducted by nutritionists in the Solwezi central business district last week revealed that out of 121 people aged between 20 and 65, 15 had high blood pressure, 16 were obese, 9 were overweight and 11 were underweight, he said.
ZANIS reports that the provincial medical officer said this in Solwezi today during commemorations of this year’s world consumer rights day under the theme “helping consumers choose health diets.”
He called for intensified health education on health diets in addition to infant and children feeding messages being conducted by support
groups in communities.
Dr Choonga said people should take advantage of health services that government has put in place in all health centres and be counseled on
diets that will reduce deaths due to non-communicable diseases.
And provincial minister Dawson Kafwaya said it is sad to note that the impact of poor diets now exceeds that of smoking.
Mr Kafwaya at the same occasion called on consumers to protect and promote healthy diets by eating more of traditional foods which are beneficial to the body as
opposed to fast foods.
He urged consumer associations and other civil society organizations to closely work with government in ensuring that the nation remains
healthy by advocating and promoting local and traditional foods that are rich in diet and healthy.
And organizing committee vice chairperson Matthew Sondoyi appealed to government to consider increasing staffing levels for the competition
and consumer protection commission office in the province to effectively carry out the mandate of the commission.