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Mitumba traders agree to comply with new directives for sector’s resumption

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 30- Mitumba traders now say they are fully complying with the government’s directives for the resumption of the importation and sale of imported or second-hand clothes following a meeting between the dealers and President Uhuru Kenyatta.

According to Mitumba Association Of Kenya Chair Teresia Njenga, the traders have already committed to clear all undergarment related stock from the Kenyan market by September 30, as expected by the government.

“By October 1 as an association, we have committed ourselves that throughout our market we will not see any undergarment in the market, and we have all representatives in our market to ensure that has been effected,” said Njenga.

Additionally, the traders have agreed to be ambassadors of the wear ‘Made-in-Kenya’ outfits to work on Fridays and during public holidays an initiative that was launched in October 2019 as part of a scheme to achieve President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big 4 Agenda on manufacturing.

“From next Friday, as Mitumba Association of Kenya we will be wearing our vitenge clothes from Rivatex,” she added.

President Uhuru Kenyatta lifted the ban on secondhand clothes after its business was disrupted close to four months as a measure aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus disease.

Under the new resumption guidelines, the dealers are to register with the Kenya Bureau of Standard, the importers will also be required to obtain pre-shipment fumigation certificates in addition to complying with health protocols as directed by the Ministry of Trade, Health, as well as KEBS.

Other measures include ensuring the fumigation is undertaken before baling in compliance with the established standards and submitting to the Kenya Revenue Authority a register of their first-tier customers, for ease of contact tracing and tax compliance.

According to the Kenya National Bureau of statistics Manpower Survey, the mitumba traders fall under the second-hand clothes and footwear Industry which employs an estimated ten percent of the extended labour force of over 20 million Kenyans.

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The association represents nearly two million players in the Mitumba industry.

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