The association of Mitumba sellers in the country wants the government to lift the ban on importation of second hand clothes saying continued suspension will kill the livelihoods of millions of households.
The association says the suspension which was part of government’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 disease has compounded members’ woes who have already seen their businesses suffer huge losses as shoppers shun crowded areas.
On March 25 just days after the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in the country, the government suspended the importation of second-hand clothing.
And three months into the ban, that was part of the government’s new measures to fight the spread of the respiratory virus, the association of Mitumba sellers say the sector is on the verge of collapse following huge losses incurred by traders.
The association appealed to the government to lift the suspension claiming it is sinking billions of shillings in revenue adding that 2 million jobs are at stake if the obtaining situation is sustained.
With the government saying that its decision was informed by existing COVID-19-19 protocols restricting importation of second-hand clothes from virus prone countries, the group says the virus cannot survive for the two months it takes to ship the goods into the country.
To allow the industry to thrive as well adhere to COVID-19-19 guidelines, the sector is proposing continuous conformity to containment measures, fumigation of goods before transit to Kenya and upon arrival as well as issuance of certificates to show conformity to COVID-19-19 guidelines.