WARNING

Competition watchdog warns retailers not to increase prices or hoard goods

The Competition watchdog warned the retailers that the said conduct is a contravention of section 21 (1) of the Competition Act

In Summary

•A spot check by the Star in several supermarkets in Nairobi noted long queues of shoppers buying foodstuffs and other necessities in huge quantities.

•The Competition warned the retailers that the said conduct is a contravention of section 21 (1) of the Competition Act

Competition Authority director general Francis Kariuki /COURTESY
Competition Authority director general Francis Kariuki /COURTESY

The first coronavirus case in the country has caused panic to citizens leading them to impulse shop as they seek to stock their houses with essential goods.

A spot check by the Star in several supermarkets in Nairobi noted long queues of shoppers buying foodstuffs and other necessities in huge quantities.

The high demand for foodstuffs and cleaning products has since seen the Competition Authority (CAK) issue a statement to sellers not to hike prices.

“It has come to the attention of the Authority that following a pronouncement by the Government of a confirmed coronavirus case, some manufacturers and retailers are contemplating collusive increases of prices and/or hoarding with the intention of subsequently increasing prices of various consumer goods,” read the statement by CA.

The Competition watchdog warned the retailers that the said conduct is a contravention of section 21 (1) of the Competition Act together with section 21 (3) (a) of the Act and will attract a penalty of up to ten per cent of the respective turnover of the manufacturers and retailers in question, pursuant to section 36 (d) of the Act.

Carrefour Kenya, posted on its social media pages that during this hard times it committed not to increase prices.

“We wish to dispel any fears that  commodity prices may be increased soon,” read a statement by Tuskys Supermarket

The competition watchdog called upon members of the Public with information relating to an increase in pricing to submit the same to the Authority.

The virus, which has since claimed over 4500 lives across the globe, infecting over 120,000 others has led to a total lockdown in countries like China, Italy, and Germany, where most actualities have been reported.