• Munya says the government is fast-tracking pharmaceuticals
• Public funds will not be used to import goods and services where local firms can manufacture similar ones
The government has banned the importation of products whose alternatives are manufactured in Kenya.
Industrialisation CS Peter Munya said the move will create and protect the market for local products, especially those targeted in government tenders.
Munya said taxpayer money should not be used to import goods and services where local firms can manufacture similar ones.
“Government procurement must be done locally, unless for private citizens who can buy wherever they want because we do not control them. But where public money is being spent, products have to be procured locally,” he said.
The CS spoke when he presided over the setting up of the first B. Braun Pharmaceutical Infusion Plant at the Export Processing Zone in Athi River, Machakos, on Tuesday.
The plant will process pharmaceuticals and medical supplies.
“Unless that particular item is not available locally, it will not be allowed to be imported.”
Munya said all government suppliers and contractors will be restricted to buying local products unless there are issues of standards and quality.
He said the government is fast-tracking pharmaceuticals and procedures are already in place.
Besides pharmaceuticals, other products whose importation have been banned include vehicle, housing and construction materials.
He said the government is only buying locally assembled vehicles.
Munya said those participating in the government’s affordable housing programme must buy all their construction materials locally.
“Seventy per cent of the materials must be locally manufactured for local construction. Nobody will be allowed to import those materials. This applies to those constructing for the government, not private contractors.”
He said there is no need to import when similar products with better qualities are available locally.
“I know some companies, pharmaceuticals that produce quality products, but we leave them here, only to import from other countries. Someone comes with an excuse to import such goods while those manufactured in Kenya have been approved by the World Health Organization,” he said.
“We are going to enforce that condition very stringently. Any government agency that contravenes those conditions will face the full wrath of the law. We will take severe action against them.”