Kamukunji MP Yusuf Hassan protests ban on mitumba imports

In Summary

• On Wednesday,the government imposed a ban on importation of second hand clothes with immediate effect to safeguard the health of Kenyans in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.

Kamukunji MP Yusuf Hassan.
Kamukunji MP Yusuf Hassan.
Image: FILE

The government on Wednesday banned the importation of second hand clothes with immediate effect to safeguard the health of Kenyans in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, Kamukunji MP Yusuf Hassan protested the move, saying the ban will have a boomerang effect on thousands of low income Kenyans who depend on the business for their livelihood.

"What would happen to these people? What measures is the government putting in place to alleviate their plight? Are there any plans to compensate them for the terrible losses they are likely to incur?" he said in a statement.

"While I am cognizant of the hard decisions that the government has to make to protect the public from the scourge of the #coronavirus - I’m shocked by the mitumba imports ban. Thousands of low-income Kenyans - many of them from Kamukunji - depend on mitumba for their livelihood," he said in a statement.

Industrialisation CS Betty Maina said the ban aims to cushion Kenyans from the  virus that has sent shock waves around the world.

Maina said the ban will in turn boost the local textile industry.

"Government has suspended importation of second hand clothes with immediate effect to safeguard the health of Kenyans and promote local textiles in the wake of corona virus," she said.