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Africa News Thu, 26 Mar 2020

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Coronavirus: Kenya bans imports of second-hand clothes

Secondhand Clothing.png File photo: Second-hand clothes trade provides a living for many Kenyans

Kenya has banned the importation of second-hand clothes, popularly known as mitumba, as a way of limiting the spread of coronarivus.

“Importation of used clothes is suspended with immediate effect to safeguard the health of Kenyans and promote local textiles,” Kenya’s Daily Nation newspaper quoted the Trade secretary, Betty Maina, as saying.

Many people buy the second-hand clothes sent from Europe, North America and China – which they prefer because they are more affordable than new products.

A significant number of Kenyans with low-incomes depend on the mitumba business for their livelihoods.

But the government has been keen to discourage importation of second-hand clothes, in support of local industries.

On Wednesday, Ms Maina met second-hand clothes dealers and encouraged them to source goods from local manufacturers.

But not everyone is happy with the suspension. The MP for Kamukunji sub-county, where the bustling clothes market of Eastleigh is situated, tweeted his opposition to the move:

Source: bbc.com

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