As of yesterday evening the number of coronavirus deaths rose by 18 to a total of 122 while the number of cumulative cases stood at 4893 after 75 people tested positive. This surge in cases and deaths has led to businesses instituting remote working measures. The Competition and Tariff Commission has also joined this bandwagon. Yesterday they issued the following statement.

The Competition and Tariff Commission is closely monitoring the coronavirus (COVID -19) outbreak and its impact on business continuity in Zimbabwe.

Of concern is the sharp increase in local transmissions in the last few months, which led His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe – Comrade Emmerson Dambudzo Munangagwa to tighten the national lockdown, with the objective of curbing the further spread of the disease.

Against this background, the Commission has taken the decision to limit face-to-face interactions in order to protect both its staff and stakeholders from COVID-19.  Accordingly, the Commission will, therefore, adopt the following:

Merging parties must download and complete merger notification forms from the Commission’s website

Firms seeking tariff assistance must download and complete tariff relief application forms from the Commission website

Firms seeking to apply for protection against any unfair trade practices (e.g. dumping) must download and complete unfair trade practices application forms from the Commission website.

Firms applying to seek advisory services from the Commission must do so through email.

All completed scanned copies of applications must be emailed to the following emails; [email protected] or [email protected] or [email protected]

Notwithstanding this, the Commission’s Offices at number 23 Broadlands Road Emerald Hill, Harare, manned by critical staff, will remain open from 0800 hours to 1500 hours to serve Covid-19 related complaints, until further notice.

However, stakeholders and affected businesses in the supply chain can still report their concerns to the Commission through contact details available on its website, or at [email protected] or on WhatsApp number 0715 905 651.

The contact person is Mr T. Zengeni reachable at 0773 256 384 (WhatsApp and SMS) or [email protected].

Stakeholders are urged to note that the Commission does not condone exploitation of the vulnerable consuming public during the lockdown period. Conspiracies against consumers violating the Competition Act[Chapter 14:28) such as:

-price-fixing by trade associations, misleading advertisements,

-distribution of commodities above-advertised prices,

-tying and bundling

are outrightly prohibited during the pandemic period. Businesses are reminded to comply with the provisions of the Act, as non-compliance will be subject to maximum penalties and sanctions.

The Commission also encourages all its valued stakeholders to remain vigilant and adhere to health guidelines laid down by the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare .i.e. avoiding unnecessary travelling, practising social distancing, wearing of masks and frequent sanitization of hands.

Competition and Tariff Commission