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Wednesday March 25, 2020 - The Government of President Uhuru Kenyatta has declared an immediate suspension of the importation of second-hand clothes into the country.

In a statement released by the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Cooperatives through their social media platforms on Wednesday, March 25th, the Government indicated that the move was meant to safeguard Kenyans' health.

In the post, the Ministry announced that the decision was also reached at to promote the local textile industry in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ever since the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, traders have been lamenting that they cannot sell their wares because Kenyans are wary about purchasing the items from COVID-19 stricken countries.

Responding to the Government’s move, Machakos MP, Dan Maanzo, who sits in the National Assembly Committee on Trade, Industries and Cooperatives, noted that while the move was welcome, he was of the opinion that the clothes should simply be disinfected when brought into the country.

"A lot of these clothes come from Italy so the likelihood is that for a lot of people who have died, their clothes are going to be given to the poor for free and some unscrupulous business people might take advantage of that.”

"There should be a policy of disinfecting as soon as the clothes come into the country.”

“I don't really think a total ban helps because it means similarly you have to ban goods from China or Italy." he stated.

Maanzo further added that he was well aware that despite the suspension, some people were going to conduct the very same importation in an underhand manner to beat the suspension.

He insisted that the buyers should be simply made to disinfect the clothes on the spot which in his opinion was the best way to curb the COVID-19 pandemic spread in the country.

"I like the move, but it is not effective. It has no mechanism of enforcement.”

“They should encourage more disinfection than banning the items coming into the country.”


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