The Competition Authority of Kenya has cracked whip on a supermarket found taking advantage of coronavirus (COVID-19) to sell hand sanitisers above the normal price.
The management of Cleanshelf Supermarket was on Monday ordered to trace and refund customers money before March 26 or face unspecified consequence.
Cleanshelf Supermarket normally retails specific hand sanitisers at Sh800. The Authority, however, determined that the retailer on March 15 sold the same batch of product to consumers at varying amounts above Sh800, including Sh1000, with prices increasing within hours.
“The retailer, therefore, exploited its relative strength as a retailer to commercially detriment consumers whose bargaining position has been diminished following the pronouncement of the existence of COVID-19 in Kenya,” reads a letter from the Authority.
“We, therefore, order Cleanshelf to contact and refund all the consumers who purchased the 960 pieces of the Tropikal brand hand sanitisers above the usual selling price and submit evidence to support the same before March 26.”
In defence the retailer said it has already punished an employee linked to the malpractice.
“It has come to our attention that one of our staff members without consultation and irresponsibly severally adjusted the price of Tropical Hand Sanitiser in our Ruaka Branch,” a notice from Cleanshelf management reads.
Kenya has confirmed three cases of coronavirus.
In view of the new developments, the Government has suspended all travel for persons coming into Kenya from countries with reported Covid-19 cases.
“Only Kenyans and foreigners with valid permits will be allowed into Kenya for the next 30 days, as long as they self-quarantine or go to government facilities,” President Uhuru said on Sunday.
All persons who have come to Kenya within the last 14 days have been ordered to self-quarantine.