March 20, 2020

Traders in Kigali Fined for Hiking Prices to Take Advantage of COVID-19

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Inspectors were walking into random shops and those found with unusual prices have been fined

At least 24 traders in different parts of Kigali are now counting losses following fines imposed by Trade Ministry.

Earlier in the week, the ministry issued warning against any attempts by traders to increase prices of good to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic. Price limits were also set for items widelt consumed in the country like rice, sugar, beans and potatoes.

The warning was followed up with random spot checks by inspectors backed by police officers. They were looking out for; do all commodities have price tags; what are prices for basic items.

According to Trade Ministry, 24 places were found charging more for some goods, and others had not placed prices tags so that they pronounced the price depending on client. The culprits were fined a total of Rwf 1.68m.

As per Article 27, law No 35/91 of 1991 regulating conduct of trade, any businessperson who engages in practices considered unjust to buyers faces fines and closure of business for up to six months. Culprits are also required to handover to government all the additional money gained if the price has been hiked.

The COVID-19 cases identified remained 11 by Thursday evening as no new case was found yesterday.

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