Stop it, PS warns schools

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SIMON MUNTEMBA writes

IT is illegal for both primary and secondary schools to force parents and guardians to buy school items from selected suppliers, Ministry of General Education Permanent Secretary Jobbicks Kalumba has said.

And Dr Kalumba has warned all the schools involved to immediately bring the practice to an end.

The PS’s remarks come following complaints from parents and guardians that some Zambian schools were compelling discriminatory procurement.

Parents from different parts of Zambia were reported to be outraged for allegedly being forced to buy school items from selected shops and suppliers.

It is alleged that some named boarding schools were directing parents and guardians to buy mattresses, uniforms and books for their children from selected mattress suppliers.

In an interview, Dr Kalumba said a parent and guardian was free to buy from anywhere and from any supplier provided the school items were of general standard.

“It is not a good practice and must not be allowed to continue,” Dr Kalumba said.

And The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) have also condemned the practice.

Ms Namukolo Kasumpa, the CCPC public relations officer said in a statement that the conduct was anti-competitive as it distorts the competition landscape among the players in the provision of such items.

Ms Kasumpa has since reiterated the commission’s warning to schools that were involved in this practice to desist as they risk facing the wrath of the law.

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