COVID-19: COMESA slaps $300,000 fine on dealers in fake products

A woman retailing hand sanitizers, gloves and face masks at Kigali Downtown Bus Park on Tuesday, March 17. The demand for such products has significantly increased as Rwandans try to keep the global pandemic of coronavirus (COVID-19) at bay. COMESA has warned traders in fake sanitary products as part of the global effort to curb the virus. / Photo: Craish Bahizi.

The COMESA Competition Commission (CCC) has issued a warning to companies and individuals that are selling products not medically tested and approved, which they claim can treat and prevent the coronavirus.

The CCC was established by the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) to promote and encourage fair competition by preventing restrictive business practices and other restrictions that deter the efficient operation of markets.


It seeks to enhance the welfare of the consumers in the common market and protect consumers against offensive conduct by market actors.


Rwanda is a member of COMESA.


“Such companies and individuals are advised to refrain from such conduct as it is contrary to article 27 of the COMESA Competition regulations. If any company or individuals are found wanting, the commission will not hesitate to apply the provisions of the regulations which include sanctions of up to $300,000,” George Lipimile, the CCC chief executive said in a statement.

He advised consumers in the Common Market to be on the lookout for any scams and report any suspicions either directly to the Commission or through any Consumer Protection Agency in their country of residence.

The coronavirus has become a global pandemic with more cases being registered in almost every corner of the world.

Many African countries continue to register new cases.

Currently, Rwanda is counting eight cases of the novel coronavirus.

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