In a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19, a pandemic that’s shattered the whole world, the government has suspended the importation of second-hand clothes commonly known as mitumba with immediate effect.
Cabinet Secretary for Industrialization Betty Maina made the announcement. She said it would help protect Kenyans against the dreaded coronavirus.
Additionally, she said the move would help boost the local textile. Previously, the local clothing industry faced stiff competition from mitumba clothes because of their availability and low prices. Most of the clothes are imported from China, North America, and Europe.
Part of the statement read, “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 coronavirus.”
Before the ban, traders at the Gikomba market, famously known for the trade of mitumba clothes had complained about how the coronavirus pandemic greatly affected their business.
The announcement followed a study from the American based Center for Disease Control that said the virus could stay on surfaces longer than they had imagined.
For instance, traces of coronavirus were found on a cruise ship, 17 days after setting sail.