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President Kenyatta meets Mitumba importers over ban

By MOSES NYAMORI | March 11th 2016

NAIROBI: President Uhuru Kenyatta met second-hand clothes' importers after they expressed concern over reports that second-hand goods would be banned.

The President met the traders on Wednesday at State, Nairobi to discuss how the sector can accelerate the development of the textiles sector in Kenya.

He held discussions with the Association of Mitumba Importers in Kenya and sought to reassure them that their source of livelihood was safe even with the impending ban on importation of used clothes, commonly known as mitumba, within East African states.

A majority of the traders estimated at 65,000 in Gikomba alone, have since protested the move, saying the ban will affect economic growth.

But the Head of State said it was time for the industry to promote local manufacturing and grow high-value jobs.

"There is need to provide competitive alternatives for mitumba traders through Kenyan manufactured apparel to be sourced locally at competitive prices while ensuring adequate supply of good quality products," the President said.

"This is an important part of my administration's effort to promote 'Buy Kenya, Build Kenya'."

Importation of used clothes has been blamed for the collapse of the textile industry.

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