The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has informed school administrators that it is unlawful to require parents and guardians to only purchase school uniforms from the institution.
Parents and guardians are permitted to purchase school uniforms from outside vendors as long as the uniforms are produced in accordance with the school’s criteria, according to the Commission, which has stated that schools found wanting will face appropriate penalties.
In a statement, CCPC Public Relations Officer Rainford Mutabi stated that it is unlawful to force parents to exclusively purchase school supplies and other items from the school where their child is enrolled because doing so would violate their right to choose and would be detrimental to the nation’s competitive environment.
“CCPC is cognisant that as the new school term begins, there are schools that may resort to coercing parents/guardians to source school uniforms and other supplies strictly from their schools or exclusively selected suppliers. The CCPC would like to remind schools that such practices are illegal and contrary to the Competition and Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) No. 24 of 2010. Such practices deprive parents/guardians of their right to choice; and distorts the competition landscape among the players in the provision of such items in Zambia,” he said.
Mr Mutabi said schools are however, still at liberty to provide the required specifications of the uniforms and school supplies.
“In this regard, the CCPC would like to urge parents/guardians to be proactive and report any school engaging in such practice by calling it on the toll-free line 5678, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit any of its offices located countrywide. The CCPC wishes to assure the public that it will remain vigilant in monitoring the market and will not hesitate to impose appropriate penalties on any school which violates the provisions of the Act,” he said.