File:Pupils from Lusaka schools follow proceedings during the junior achievers programme at Kabulonga Boys secondary school
File:Pupils from Lusaka schools follow proceedings during the junior achievers programme at Kabulonga Boys secondary school

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission is worried by the continued trend by institutions of learning in the habit of forcing parents or guardians to buy uniforms only from them.

In a statement, the Commission said the Commission has continued to receive complaints from the public on this unfortunate and unfair practice.It reiterated the warning to such schools who have taken the law upon themselves to be engaging in unfair trading practices that exploits the consumers that the Commission is actively investigating such issues and will follow them accordingly.It said some schools have also continued tying school places to buying of the uniforms at the same school, a situation which is unfair and against the law as it limits consumer choices.

The Commission said this behaviour by schools is uncalled for, and is tantamount to unfair trading practice which, according to the Competition and Consumer Protection Act No. 24 of 2010, any institution or individual found guilty is liable to pay the CCPC a fine not exceeding ten percent of that person’s or enterprise’s annual turnover.

“What makes a sad reading is the fact that this trend is being perpetrated by school authorities, who should be custodians of the law, taking advantage of consumer’s desperate situations to engage in limiting consumer choice,” it said.

The Commission added, “We will not allow this situation to continue as it is likely to cause inflation of uniform prices and reduce consumer choice, while on the other hand it excludes other alternative sources that provide similar uniforms. Unfortunately, such a behaviour if allowed to continue is likely to frustrate Government’s efforts to provide cheaper, affordable or free education as pupils were more likely to be turned away from the school if they did not buy the uniforms from the school.”

The Commission said, “We are of the view that what schools only needed to provide is a general standard of what type, shade and colour of uniforms that are required, and ensure that school children conform to the standard of uniforms as guided by the school, whilst allowing parents and guardians to purchase uniforms from other sources that produce similar uniforms and most likely at competitive prices.”

‘Further, this conduct would also appear to contradict the Ministry of Education National Policy on Education which entrusts Educational Boards with sufficient discretionary powers to enable them to take positive and affirmative action on behalf of the poor and vulnerable. The Commission, therefore, requests the perpetrators to immediately desist from such vices and appeal to affected members of the public to report institutions of learning involved to CCPC.”

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12 COMMENTS

  1. Talk is cheap so what are you doing about it. This has been talked about before by this Commission but practice continues unabated. Zambia the country of talk, talk but not action, the country of inactive citizens! Keep shutting ifintu ni Lungu/PF while country grinds to a halt

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  2. Parents are forced to buy school uniforms at Kaunda Square Primary School, Lusaka and Am sure that is not the only school where such a thing happens! Forcing parents to buy school uniform from school usually happens when school authority connive with some tailors to sell through school administration. The school administration or just an individual at school in turn gets commission!

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  3. I stay in rural Eastern Zambia where this practice has gone on for a long time. The Ministry of Education needs to look at the requirement form which includes a lot of items on top of school fees. I feel it is unjust for a family of 4 school going kids to be able to afford cement, paint, duplicating paper, slasher etc. I honestly feel the schools have personal interest in terms of school uniforms, they change colours every couple of years & particular teachers either become suppliers or assign relatives/friends to supply. If a pair of trousers or skirt is going for K40- at the shops, the school charges K65-. Let the authorities take immediate action, the consumer protection agency just barks all the time, doesn’t bite.

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  4. You the CCPC you are just pretending not to know such schools. There are so many school of which we wait your action on them. What are you doing ? Please walk the talk guys. From today I command you to visit all these schools in Zambia.

    Peace and Prosperity to Mother Zambia.

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  5. Please imwe ba CCPC dont just talk and take time to act.This habit is going on. Investigate Great North Road School accademmy. The man is charging about k130.00 for a shirt and about k120.00 trousers.As parents we are charged exorbitantly

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  6. CCPC, I am really beginning to like president Lungu’s government. They are working and working really well. I did not know we even had a consumer protection wing in Zambia.

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  7. Munali Girls Sec is a good example, there is a curtail of women of the likes of Mrs …….., they know themselvesls.

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  8. YES PLEASE. IN SOLWEZI THEY TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE INCOMING GRADES LIKE G8 AND 10S. AT MARKETS UNIFORMS ARE ONLY SELLING @ K50,WHILE THE SCHOOL UNIFORM BUSINESS IS @K170 PLUS THE SO CALLED SCHOOL FUND @ K381. IS THIS FREE EDUCATION FOR ALL? WHICH A POOR ZAMBIAN CAN AFFORD SEEING THEIR CHILDREN TO COMPLETE SCHOOL? PLEASE HELP US GRZ.

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  9. Competition commission should be very careful to maintain standards,as much as they are helping to avoid exploitation they should also be mindful of uniform standards to be maintained in some cases though not all.big up though, ideas that help the masses are the best..

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  10. CCPC you just talk without action! Parents have been complaining for some time and you seem not to pay attention, what is really your mandate? Some comments above have pointed out some schools where the selling of uniforms exorbitantly for that matter takes place. What else do you want? Is it that somebody should come and lift you and take you to the school where the selling takes place! That cannot be normal!!!

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  11. Just swing into action now. We have been waiting for your action for too long. Are you going to issue warnings forever- without action. Without action, those warnings are just nothing but empty words. Give an ultimatum to the schools to clear the stocks which beyond that date, no school will be allowed to sell school uniforms. Period!

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