Ministry of General Education Permanent Secretary Felix Phiri has advised schools not to force parents or guardians to buy uniforms from them.
Dr Phiri said schools should compete favourably on the market. Therefore, citizens should not be forced to procure uniforms only from individual schools.
“I expect that there should be no school which will force parents to buy uniforms from them. We have a liberalised market and there is free market competition,” he said.
Dr Phiri said Zambia is a country of laws and that anyone who abrogates them will have to suffer the consequences.
According to the Competition and Consumer Protection (CCPC) Act No. 24 of 2010, any institution or individual found guilty is liable to pay the CCPC a fine not exceeding 10 percent of that person’s or enterprise’s annual turnover.
CCPC has since advised all schools to desist from forcing parents and guardians to buy uniforms from schools as this is against the Act.
CCPC public relations officer Namukolo Kasumpa said the conduct of some schools will not be condoned as it is equivalent to unfair trading practice.
Ms Kasumpa said schools that are engaging in unfair trading by forcing parents or guardians to buy uniforms will be investigated and prosecuted if found wanting.
“Unfair trading practices exploit consumers and it has been revealed that some schools have continued to link school places to buying of uniforms, a situation which is unfair and against the law as it limits consumer choices,” Ms Kasumpa said.
Most public and private schools will open for the first