Following Dangote Industries’ refusal to enter into a cement price fixing cartel with the Ventriliglia family, cement prices have reduced by about K14. The Ventrliglia family who are running Zambezi Portland Cement illegally have been forced to reduce the price of ‘their’ stolen cement from K75 to K62.
A survey conducted in Ndola yesterday by Daily Mail revealed that traders have reduced the price of other cement products by about K14 due to cheaper Dangote products.
The price has fallen from about K75 to K61 and K62. At Micmar branch in the town centre, the commodity was fetching at K62 for Zambezi Portland cement, while Dangote cement was selling at between K61 and K62 and that of Lafarge was ranging between K62 and K68.
“This new (Dangote) cement on the market is of good quality. that is why most consumers seem to prefer it and the price is affordable,” Ackson Chibwe, a trader at Masala market, said.
On 16th June 2016, the K400 million-worth Dangote Industries plant offloaded the commodity on the local market with the wholesale price pegged at K58.
Fearing the worst, on 18th day of June 2015 the Ventriglias stormed the Dangote Plant to try and persuade them to form a cartel on the pricing of cement. According to sources close to the Watchdog, Mr. Antonio Ventriglia lamented about the low prices that Dangote is selling the commodity for and indignantly complained that business was going to be a challenge for them. His proposal was that Dangote must increase its price of cement to match up with the already existing market players’ pricing and that they would still be in a position to post good profits. However, this attempted exercise proved ineffectual as the Dangote team refused to be drawn into the attempted Cartel. In a covert fashion in order to serve the Ventriglias from further embarrassment, a Dangote representative spoken to modestly informed them that the decision makers were based in Nigeria and that there was nothing they could do for them. This left the Ventriglias distressed.
This attempt by the Ventriglias to create a Cartel in order to fix prices is contrary to the Competition and Consumer Protection Act of the Laws of Zambia. However, the Ventrglias’ disregard of the Zambian Laws is not anything new as this has been their modus operandi throughout their stay in Zambia. On Wednesday (17th June 2015), the Ventriglias addressed ZPC employees where they told the employees to take pay cuts or face retrenchment contrary to the Labour Laws of the Republic of Zambia . The Ventriglias, upon return from deportation barely 2 months ago physically took possession of ZPC plant flanked by thugs in Masks together with their Lawyer Sakwiba Sikota S.C. while an Injunction was subsisting against them from interfering with ZPC . The Ventriglias are also known to be ruthless when it comes to ‘poaching’ wild animals . In December 2012, the President of the Republic of Zambia His Excellency Edgar Chagwa Lungu who was at the material time Minister of Home Affairs deported the Ventriglias for being a danger to peace and good order in the Country.