At least 50 Masvingo business operators were last week fined for breaking consumer protection laws that require them to display prices on goods and several other unlawful disclaimers in an operation held by police and the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) from May 19 to 24.
The operation, code named “AFYA”, a Swahili word for “wellness of the consumer” cracked down on business owners who were not complying with the Consumer Protection Act Sections 26 and 42 that provide for the right to disclosure of prices and information regarding goods and services.
Masvingo CCZ Regional Officer Ndumiso Mgutshini told TellZim News that most of the business operators who were arrested were not aware of the consumer protection laws.
“Not displaying prices of goods and services is a crime and those found wanting will be subjected to payment of a fine or three months imprisonment,” Mgutshini said.
Masvingo Provincial Police Spokesperson Kudakwashe Dhewa told TellZim News that 50 business operators were arrested during the operation.
“50 business operators were arrested and fined for not adhering to consumer protection laws as defined in Sections 26 and 42 of the Consumer Protection Act,” said Dhewa.
Business operators were also arrested for unlawful disclaimer clauses that disallow consumers from returning goods or getting refunds.
“Disclaimer clauses such as “no returns”, “no refunds” and “goods left at owner’s risk” are a crime, and business operators who displayed these clauses in their shops were arrested,” Mgutshini said.