Businesses asked to respect consumer rights

The  business community should uphold consumer protection as it continues to compete fairly in the economy, a top official has said.
Businesses in Kigali have been advised to observe customer rights (File photo)..
Businesses in Kigali have been advised to observe customer rights (File photo)..

The  business community should uphold consumer protection as it continues to compete fairly in the economy, a top official has said.

“As economies move progressively towards increased liberalisation, certain undesirable business practices emerge which act as a hindrance to fair, rule-based game in the market,” the Minister of Trade and Industry, Monique Nsanzabaganwa, said, yesterday, during celebrations marking the International Consumer Protection Day in Kigali.
Nsanzabaganwa said one of government’s important roles is to create conducive business environment to provide consumers with competitive prices and product choices at the best possible quality.

“The vision of Rwanda’s is to incorporate the interests of the consumers, emerging entrepreneurs and existing firms,” she said, adding that her government intends to create a fair and equitable climate, where consumers and producers can maximize their profits and satisfaction respectively through the competition and consumer protection policy.

The Minister a draft national law on consumer protection seeks to cover gaps in the international trade law, which covers competition and consumer protection. 

“The law is set to prevent businesses that engage in fraud or specified unfair practices from gaining advantage over competitors and cause harm to the consumer,” she explained.

The Director of Consumer Affairs at Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA), Mukamurera Veneranda, said Rwandan consumers are entitled to complete information on price, quantity and ingredients from goods and services providers.

“RURA ensures to protect customers rights; as we all recall when GTV collapsed, we made sure that we review all the agreements that were signed in order to compensate its former clients. Through this, we forced a way and they compensated all former subscribers,” she said.

The minister of Environment and lands, Stanislas Kamanzi urged both consumers and service providers to dispose off unwanted goods in an environmentally friendly manner.

The celebrations also involved the disposing off of tones of expired good, including milk, oil, margarine products, captured from shops all over the country. The disposal ceremony was held at Nyanza in Kicukiro District.

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