The Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) says it will make known its determination on recent reversed water tariff increase, in January 2018.
The country’s water boards secretly increased water tariffs without giving prior notice to their customers, a decision which prompted the CFTC to institute investigation.
Government through Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development was forced to call off the hike following growing concerns by consumers and Parliamentarians.
The board of commissioners of CFTC meets every quarter to consider and adjudicate over cases relating to unfair trade practices, anti-competitive business conducts and mergers. The last meeting was held in October.
“We have a robust investigation system where we process allegations of unfair conduct and, at the end, we issue orders,” Kulisewa said.
CFTC Director of Consumer Welfare and Education, Lewis Kulisewa, said, even though the government reversed the tariff hike, CFTC will still carry on with its independent investigations into the matter to establish if there were any violations to the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) and the Competition and Fair Trading Act.
Section 6 of the CPA makes it mandatory for service providers to provide consumers with true, sufficient, clear and timely information on the services they offer.
If found guilty, the water boards may be asked to reimburse consumers the money they collected between July and October this year following a provision in Section 3 of the CPA.
The Section gives entitlement to consumers to get “full, timely, adequate and prompt compensation for damages suffered, which are attributed to a supplier or trader” and this can include refunds.