The rights to consume a product or service of choice is one way of creating a free market guided by fair competition, according to Damien Ndizeye, the Executive Secretary Association for The Defence Of Consumer Right Of Rwanda (ADECOR).
Ndizeye noted that there is need to sensitise the public to ensure that they buy products that meet required standards and that they are given the exact quantity bought.
“We are going to mobilise consumers around their rights and obligations and see that we control prices on the market,” he said in an interview with Business Times.
Ndizeye noted that the association would later this month launch a campaign dubbed ‘a customer is a king’ to strengthen the know how of consumers in demanding for their rights .
“We have to look for solutions to problems thwarting Rwandan consumers’ interests through negotiations.”
He added that most traders and service providers take advantage of ignorance of consumers for their rights to exploit them.
Robert Hategeka, a private entrepreneur said that: “Our challenge is not ignorance of our rights but the problem is where to go in case you get a problem and who is there to hear you?”
Job Opar, a consumer protection and fair competition consultant at ADECOR said that the delay in the consumer protection and fair competition law is limiting implementation especially in prosecuting traders in courts of law.
“We have been told it is in the final stages in parliament and once it is out, Rwanda will be the leading country in the region in emphasising consumer protection and fair competition,” he said, applauding government through the Ministry of Trade for shielding consumers against high fuel and food prices.
“Now is the time for private sector to intervene to sensitise the community on their consumer rights.”