Material brand manufacturers closing ranks to reign in copycats

24Sep 2019
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Material brand manufacturers closing ranks to reign in copycats

MANUFACTURERS of building materials such as iron sheets and steel bars have blamed their lack of unity to fight against counterfeits masquerading in the market.

 FCC Director General, Dr John Mduma.

Speaking at a stakeholders meeting organized by Fair Competition Commission held last Friday in Dar es Salaam, some of the leading manufacturers blamed the prevailing silence among them which has allowed counterfeit makers and importers to control a good market share.

Assistant Quality Control Manager with Kiboko Enterprise Limited, Hassan Mnase said with the well trusted genuine products silence, counterfeiters are producing copycats in the dark but supplying the market with impunity especially in rural areas.

“We are our own worst enemies because there are traitors among us. Kiboko and ALAF are well established brands in the market and that we are the worst victims when it comes to roofing materials,” Mnase charged noting that the counterfeiters are with impunity importing iron sheet coils and stamp them genuine products brands.

According to him, counterfeited iron sheets in the name of his company are mostly supplied in the rural areas of the regions of Coast, Morogoro and Tabora but intervention by the company in collaboration with FCC has reduced the incident to some extent.

Export Market Manager ALAF Tanzania Limited, Ephraim Kalina said the company has formed surveillance teams to probe the market in at least ten regions of the country where ALAF supplies most its products.

“The teams were formed about three weeks ago and come up with a good report on what is happening in the market. The main objective is to establish the extent of counterfeits in the name of ALAF especially to rural areas and suburbs,” Kalina said.

Raymond Kambamwene who is Supply Chain Manager at Ando Roofing Products Limited admitted that counterfeit roofing material are threatening their market share though his company has been holding routing surveillances in collaboration with FCC to apprehend the culprits.

“We have a special department that overlooks how our products are doing in the market and if there are any counterfeits against them. We are investing heavily in technology to make it easier for our customers to reach us directly to avoid middlemen,” Kambamwene said.

In his opening remarks, FCC Director General, John Mduma called upon manufacturers to embark on the production of quality roofing materials so as to be competitive both at local and regional markets.

“As Tanzania looks forward to ratify the African Continental Free Trade Area, we need local manufacturers who are serious to enable us compete effectively in the continental market of 1.2 billion people,” Dr Mduma said.

The FCC chief further noted that the commission is currently suffering from shortage of manpower hence unable to cover the whole country with its surveillance services.