Thursday, June 19, 2008

Some few media coverage of consumer rights violation in Tanzania

The issue of consumer protection in Tanzania has become acute especially since the liberalisation of the Tanzania economy in the late 1980s. Since then there is poor link between producers and consumers.

Tanzania Consumers do lack reliable and timely information; they are unaware of existing institutional mechanisms for their rights protection after abolition of state controlled economy established through Arusha declaration in 1967.

One of Tanzania state controlled icons found in Arusha.

Only 9% of Tanzania consumers are ready to actively seek protection of their rights by challenging manufacturers, sellers, or state bodies for providing them with products or services of insufficient quality.

As a result, the market is full of unsafe and low quality goods and services to the degree of leading to the presence of more globalization economy losers than winners.

Some few media evidence of Consumer’s rights violation in Tanzania Market
a) Mwananchi, 23rd.April.2007, Swahili newspaper had a title; Fake malaria drugs; kill many Tanzanians.
b) Sunday Citizen 10th.Dec.2006, had the article with the title; Many Tanzanians not fully aware of their rights.
c) The Guardian dated 11th July2007, for example, reported that banned HIV/AIDS life prolonging drug –EMTRI 30 - 40 from India that was disqualified by the WHO and its importation banned by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, was still circulating in Kisarawe district, Coast region despite an outcry by anti-AIDS activists.
d) The Citizen of 28th,July.2007, had a title; ‘’In for an injection, out with a limp’’ some people come out of the injection room with a abscess only shows up several weeks later; others come out with disabilities for life.
e) The Guardian of 19.August.2007; had the title ‘’Fake goods impedes producers - Producers are deeply alarmed by the flood of counterfeit products in the local market harming quality and undercut their efforts to thrive.
f) The Guardian of 12.Sept.2007; reported that; Bulk of Kariakoo imported goods fake - about 50 per cent of all imported goods from China and sold in Kariakoo shops in Dar es Salaam are counterfeit

g) The Guardian of 04.Nov.2007; Fake Medicines Pose Big Threat-Counterfeit Medicines In Tanzania; the story continued
i. In August 1999, fake Metakelfin labelled as a genuine product from the original manufacturer, Pharmacia and Upjohn, was found in circulation in some pharmacies in the country.
ii. Laboratory analysis confirmed that the counterfeit Metakelfin actually contained paracetamol. In May 2000, counterfeit Ampicillin capsules (250mg) were found circulating in some retail pharmacies.
iii. Laboratory analysis confirmed the capsules contained potato starch. In June 2001, expired Chloroquine Injection (from an unregistered Indian company) was relabeled as Quinine Dihydrochloride Injection 600mg/2ml from a company in Cyprus.
iv. In January 2005, fake Gentrisone Cream (a product of Shin Poong, South Korea) was reported. In this case, the active ingredient was replaced with hand and body lotion.

h) The Guardian of 08.Nov.2007; had the title; Consumer awareness is no laughing matter.
i) The Business Times of 06.01.2008; had the title; Stakeholders urge for more awareness education.
j) Nipashe of 14th.March.2008; had the title; Importation of counterfeit goods is a threat to consumers. More than 80% of Tanzania consumers are not aware of their rights…
k) Guardian of 27th.March.2008; had the title; Vision 2025: Shall we achieve `Green Revolution`? The prices of fertilisers and farming implements remain higher due to cheating by the distributors of fertilisers.
k. Uhuru, a Swahili newspaper of 4th.April.2008, had front page story with the title, ‘’Expired toothpaste chemicals were found for Tanga Sabuni Detergent’’-The chemicals were meant for making a famous toothpaste in the country – Aha

One of main TCAS goal is to support government efforts by creating opportunities for poor Tanzania consumers to take part in the economy and in the expanding market and thereby realize their potentials being translated into actual strategy on how to make investment climate for Tanzania conducive for all stakeholders in the economy including government, producers, investors and consumers.

1 comment:

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