Le­gal metrol­ogy bill on the cards

The Manica Post - - Business/ Farming News - Wim­bainashe Zhakata Post Cor­re­spon­dent

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.

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