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The Competition and Tarrif Commission snubs Bulawayo residents.

by Mandla Ndlovu
30 Oct 2019 at 17:28hrs | Views
The Competition and Tarriff Commission has failed to heed the call by Bulawayo businesses  to decentralize it's operations through opening a local office to effectively assist companies in the second largest city of Zimbabwe. The Government of President ED Mnangagwa has prioritised Devolution and distributed funds towards Devolution, yet CTC is dragging its feet on decentralisation.

The lack of commitment towards decentralisation by CTC came under the spotlight recently when Bulawayo United Residents Association (BURA) which is the representative union of all Bulawayo residents wrote a letter of invitation to the CTC to address the residents on the inquiry on how residents could be protected against unrealistic price hikes of basic commodities, mainly maize meal.

"We are aware that your commission recently made a decision to stop industry regulation initiatives by the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe, which were meant to protect consumers from unjustified price increases of maize meal. We therefore invite your commission to address Bulawayo residents on the 19th of October 2019 on these important national issues," the letter said.

The CTC through their director Ms E Ruparanganda responded by saying,"The Commission notes the allegations therein and would like to state that the assertion is not factual, and erroneous. It also notes your request for a meeting and regrettably the commission is unable to attend given the short notice. In this respect the commission hereby extends an invitation to your organization to convene the meeting in Harare at it's offices at a future date to be mutually agreed upon by both parties. Kindly note a mid-week date would be most preferred. "

Bulawayo Residents felt belittled and snubbed by the response from the commission.
A year ago business representatives in the city had stated they were facing numerous challenges that would be adequately addressed if the CTC was accessible at a local level.

Participants had expressed their displeasure at having to travel to Harare to seek essential business administrative services saying the practise was not only inconvenient but costly.

The CTC was established 21years ago as a statutory body to implement and enforce Zimbabwe's competition on policy and law as well as to execute the country's trade tariffs policy. The commission however operates from the capital city.

CTC director had highlighted earlier on that operations were crippled due to financial constraints thus limiting their capacity to expand. She had however acknowledged all concerns and pledged to act on them a move yet to take place.

Bulawayo Business Network Spokesperson Mr Nicholas Ncube said what irks them the most is that the CTC has funds to travel to Europe and across the globe for commitments that have no bearing on the tax payer though they do not have the time or resources to address the people of Bulawayo. Mr Ncube revealed that they were voicing their concerns with the Minister and they expect government to take action or else CTC will be embarrassed very soon. Mr Ncube also indicated that they were contemplating a court order compelling CTC to come and explain itself to the residents of Bulawayo.

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Source - Byo24News