Consumer Unity and Trust Society has commended CCPC for fining Zambia Sugar K76 million for its exaggerated pricing.

In a statement today, CUTS stated that the high prices of sugar only added more pressure on already struggling households due to the high cost of living.

“Zambia sugar prices are relatively high despite the fact that production costs are comparatively low. This has been an area of great concern for CUTS as there is an already high poverty percentage in our country. Exaggerated prices by Zambia Sugar only add more pressure to households that are already struggling therefore adding to the cost of living pressures for Zambian households,” CUTS centre coordinator Chenai Mucumba stated.

“Having said this, CUTS commends the commission for the long investigation and finally coming to the place of fining Zambian sugar. Our hope is that this will bring about an opening in the market to encourage competition. This will be of great benefit to the Zambian consumers.” CUTS stated that the fine imposed on Zambia Sugar is long overdue. “The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission has fined Zambia Sugar K76 million for discrimination and unfair pricing of its commodity. CUTS International, Lusaka feels that this fine is long overdue. The points that have been highlighted by the commission are the points that were vigorously highlighted in the study that was undertaken by CUTS in 2013.”

Yesterday, the CCPC Board of Commissioners announced that it had fined Zambia Sugar PLC K76,728,650 for price discrimination and unfair pricing.

CCPC Board of Commissioners Chairperson Kelvin Bwalya Fube stated that after carrying out investigations from 2008 to 2012, it had been revealed that both industrial sugar consumers and household sugar consumers were being exploited.

But Zambia Sugar Plc said it would file an appeal to the Competition Tribunal against CCPC’s decision because the company’s pricing policies were objectively justifiable.