Legal metrology bill on the cards
GOVERNMENT is drafting a Legal Metrology Bill, which is meant to transform and modernise the current Trade Measures Act of 1973, The Manica Post can reveal.
Pursuant to this, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce held a workshop in Mutare last Friday to get stakeholders’ input on the development of the new framework.
Regional engagement workshops were also held in Harare, Gweru, Bulawayo and Masvingo.
Consultant development officer of the Legal Metrology Bill in the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Dr Mukayi Musarurwa said the meeting was meant to modernise the outdated Legal Metrology Bill, which was 45 years old.
“The stakeholders meeting engagement workshop on the development of the bill is meant to transform and modernise the current Trade Measures Act Chapter 14:23 into a legal bill for Zimbabwe,” he said.
Legal metrology is the science and practice of measurements, which is subject to legal control.
Mr Musarurwa said the new bill was in line with Vision 2030, which seeks to transform the economy into upper middle class.
“The drafting of the bill is totally in line with the 2030 vision. One key area is consumer protection in which we are now closing the gap where previously we were only dealing with issues pertaining to length, mass and volume,” he said.
The Ministry’s legal officer, Mr Hilary Muhumbe said in Zimbabwe, Trade Measures activities were largely confined to length, mass and volume measurements needed for trade purposes.
“The Trade Measures Act of 1974, which was reviewed in 1996, makes provisions that ensure fair transactions where measurements are made and provides protection to consumers in commercial transactions that require accurate measurements,” he said.
Mr Muhumbe revealed that the advantages of the proposed act were that covered more areas, which were previously not covered in the outdated one.
“It covers other areas of trade, which were exempted and also facilitates the opening of the scope to include regulation of safety, health and environment (SHE),” he said.
He said it also ensured increased and opened economic frontiers and promoted the global harmonisation of legal metrology procedures.
“It also reduces technical barriers to trade and leads to deeper regional integration, which will in turn open up markets internationally,” said Mr Muhumbe.