CAK orders refund for customers overcharged for sanitizers

Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) has ordered CleanShelf supermarket to refund all customers who purchased hand sanitisers after they hiked the price.

CAK says the supermarket adjusted the prices of the Tropikal hand sanitisers (500ml) on Sunday due to the high demand following reports of Coronavirus in Kenya

In a statement, CAK Director General Wang’ombe Kariuki said the hike was in contravention of the Competition Act No. 12 of 2010.

“960 pieces of the tropical brand hand sanitisers were sold above the usual selling price of Sh. 800 and the supermarket was selling the sanitisers for Sh. 1000 and prices increasing within hours,” Wangombe said.

The DG said, pursuant to the Authorities investigations under sector 70 A of the act the authority established that the retailer has been adjusting the prices of the sanitizers in contravention of sectiorn56 (1) of the Act.

According to the DG the Act states that “It shall be an offence for a person in trade in connection with the supply or possible supply of goods or services to another person, to engage in conduct that is in all circumstances, unconceivable”.

The Competition authority order comes in the wake where President Uhuru on Sunday during an update on the coronavirus, directed and gave clear instructions to the Competition to take action to any business that takes undue advantage of this crisis to make citizens pay more than they should.

Kariuki has not only ordered for refund but has asked the Cleanshelf to also submit evidence to support the same by March 26, 2020.

“This retailer has exploited its relative strength as a retailer to commercially detriment consumers whose bargaining positon has been diminished following the pronouncement of existence of COVID-19 in Kenya”, Kariuki said.

Kariuki has appreciated members of the public for availing the necessary information to conduct the investigation and further encouraged persons with information relating to contravention submit the same to the authority at the Kenya Railways staff retirement benefit scheme block D 1st floor.

CAK had last week warned traders against hiking prices on commodities, saying that failure to comply will attract a penalty.

The Act attracts a penalty of up to ten per cent of the respective turnover of the manufacturers and retailers if found to be contravening the law

Since the coronavirus outbreak alerts and confirmation in the country, Ministry of Health has been calling for Kenyans to ensure that they sanitize their hands, they have further asked all institutions, churches and also public premises to provide sanitizers for citizens to use as a measure to prevent the coronavirus from spreading.


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