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Why importing fish from China could be economic suicide to local traders

By Onyiego Felix | Jul 11th 2016 | 2 min read
By Onyiego Felix | July 11th 2016

News that Kenya is awash with cheap Chinese fish retailing in local markets is shocking and annoying.

Experts have raised the red flag on the Sino-Kenyan trade relations.

That the partnership has come to this is an indictment on the quality of leadership in the country.

The situation is so dire and that the Chinese have been awarded vital infrastructure construction. Worse still, they have even imported their cement which is the bulk of the material. They are as well using their labour and equipment.

But that is just but a tip of the iceberg. Many agricultural sub-sectors have been brought to their knees by these same suicidal politico-economic arrangements between our leaders and foreigners.

In advanced countries, this is called economic sabotage and is aptly punished as a capital offence or at the least a life time behind bars.

Cheap importations of synthetic pesticides brought the once thriving pyrethrum industry onto its knees.

The sugar industry is also facing the same threat from cheap imports from Brazil, which is closing down factories with untold suffering for millions who depend on the cash crop.

The cotton industry was long condemned to extinction by introduction of second hand clothes. This was yet another agreement between people in power in contempt of the interests of their country and foreign business interests.

Unregulated importation of cheap paper also grounded the Pan African Paper Mill factory.

The Webuye-based factory employed thousands of residents, benefiting the local population, directly or indirectly. Many investors then shifted base to the neighbouring Bungoma, Kakamega and Kitale towns, there by leaving the residents destitute.

Importation of essential commodities like the trifles of toothpicks, tooth brushes among others have crippled our industrial sector, thus denying the country millions of job opportunities for the youth and other secondary advantages of home grown industry.

It would not be surprising that the very fish packaged as ‘made in China’ may in fact be a product of lucrative unregularised illegal fishing.

Just when will the Africa countries such as Kenya learn to govern with the interest of their people at heart like their counter parts in Asia?

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