Published: Zambia Daily Mail, 3 March, 2005


The 2004 Marketing Act has been described as inadequate because its preamble is silent on what Zambia Institue of Marketing (ZIM) will aim to achieve for consumers as a basis for its existence.

Consumer Unity and Trust Society Africa-Resource Centre (CUTS-ARC) and Zambia Consumer Association (ZACA) say the Act is disastrous because every organisation should have a mission, between itself and the broader society.

The Consumer Watch, a bi-Monthly newsletter noted that marketing professionals are intermediaries between consumers and retailers or suppliers and manufacturers.

The consumer bodies stated that the question that now remains un-tackled on what that meant for the Zambian society precisely for the consumer, the other is to what extent was the consumer taken into account as an integral part of the legislation formation process.

“No doubt it is a seller’s document and not a marketer’s; here a group of professionals have congregated into an association but have not made it clear what they want to do for the society,” the newsletter stated.

The newsletter further noted that because of this, the ZIM functions are not reflective of deliverance of the mission, which is missing and hence they are there as self-serving instruments.

CUTS-ARC and ZACA stated that the only function that neared consumer protection was function number 4(1) of the Act that talked of ethical conduct of professionals.

However, the two organisations noted that the term “ethical” remained undefined in the Act, apart from craving to be an elitist group, and its clause on membership disqualification cannot be distinguished from that of a political party.