By Kanze Dena, Spokesperson’s Office State House.
His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday at State House, Nairobi met representatives of Mitumba Association of Kenya led by their Chairperson Ms Teresia Njenga.
The Head of State received a petition from the Association highlighting the challenges traders of used clothing and shoes (mitumba) traders in the country are experiencing as a results of the country’s Covid-19 containment protocols.
As a step towards the resumption of importation and sale of mitumba in the country, the Head of State and the traders agreed on the following measures:
a) All mitumba importers shall be required to register with Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS);
b) Mitumba (used clothing and shoes) shall be packed in bales that do not exceed 50kg. The Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development and KEBS shall initiate necessary corrective measures;
c) Mitumba importers will be required to obtain pre-shipment fumigation certificates in addition to complying with health protocols as directed by the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development and KEBS. Importers will ensure that fumigation is undertaken before baling in compliance with the established standards;
d) Mitumba importers will be required to adhere to the KEBS standards and ensure that prohibited items are not imported into the country by instituting necessary sorting and categorization mechanisms before baling. The members of the association have committed to observing this requirement and have been made aware of the sanctions associated with its violation;
e) For ease of contact tracing and tax compliance, importers and wholesalers of mitumba shall be required to submit to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and KEBS, a register of their first tier customers;
f) Mitumba importers will ensure that they obtain certificates of conformity from KEBS contracted agents in the country of origin before importation;
g) KEBS and KRA shall undertake necessary random inspections to ensure compliance with relevant laws and will take action against offenders in accordance with the law.
His Excellency the President reiterated the Government’s commitment to continue creating an enabling business environment for enterprises to thrive by eliminating trade barriers.
Cabinet Secretaries Fred Matiangi (Interior), Betty Maina (Trade), and Mutahi Kagwe (Health) attended today’s meeting.
Also present were Attorney General Paul Kihara Kariuki, PS for Trade and Enterprise Development Ambassador Johnson Weru, KRA Commissioner General James Githii Mburu and KEBS MD Col (Rtd) Benard Njiraini and Kenya Railways MD Eng. Philip Mainga among others.