President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday August 27 announced new directives that mitumba traders in the country must abide by in order to be allowed to operate legally.
The Head of State met representatives of the Mitumba Association of Kenya, led by their chairperson Teresia Njenga, at State House-Nairobi. The meeting yielded the new operational requirements.
President Kenyatta on Wednesday, August 26 — in his eleventh address to the nation post-COVID-19 outbreak — announced that the Government had lifted the ban on mitumba importation. He, however, stated that resumption-of-trade requirements would be announced on Thursday, August 27, after he meets stakeholders in the mitumba industry.
As a step towards the resumption of importation and sale of mitumba in Kenya, President Kenyatta and the traders agreed on the following measures as penned in a statement sent to newsrooms by State House Spokesperson Kanze Dena:
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.
The president’s meeting with mitumba traders’ representatives was attended by Cabinet Secretaries: Fred Matiang’i (Interior), Betty Maina (Trade) and Mutahi Kagwe (Health).
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 Managing Director Col. (Rtd) Bernard Njiraini and Kenya Railways MD Eng. Philip Mainga, among others.
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