The Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) is threatening drastic action against perpetrators of exploitation of local small and medium enterprises.
It follows observations that some retailers are engaging in abusive and deceptive trading practices by supplying underweight and falsely labelled imported second hand products.
In a statement signed by Executive Director James Kaphale, the CFTC discloses that the malpractice was brought to light following an inspection that was carried out in several markets.
The objective of the inspection was to assess compliance levels to competition and fair trading laws in the marketplace for second hand clothes and shoes, popularly known locally as kaunjika.
The commission’s assessment discovered rampant economic exploitation of small and medium enterprises by suppliers who stock and sell underweight bales of kaunjika.
In some instances, bales labelled 65 or 25 kilogrammes were in real sense weighing far less than 55 and 20 kilogrammes respectively.
Furthermore, some bales also had no price tags nor weight, content, description and quality category labels making it difficult for vendors to make informed decisions before buying.
The CFTC statement further points out that some consumers were not issued receipts after purchases while some were denied the opportunity to choose bales of their choice quality and quantity-wise.
The commission stresses that the conduct by suppliers constitutes serious infringement of the Competition and Fair Trading Act and warns that it will take drastic action on perpetrators of the deceptive and abusive trade practices.