Government has announced some directives that will govern how mitumba traders will operate legally during this period of COVID-19.
President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the directives after meeting representatives of the Mitumba Association of Kenya, led by their chairperson Teresia Njenga, at State House-Nairobi.
The meeting was also attended by Cabinet Secretaries; Fred Matiang’I, Betty Maina, and Mutahi Kagwe.
Also present, were Attorney General Paul Kihara Kariuki, PS for Trade and Enterprise Development Ambassador Johnson Weru, KRA Commissioner General James Githii Mburu and KEBS Managing Director Col. (Rtd) Bernard Njiraini and Kenya Railways MD Eng. Philip Mainga, among others.
The directives allowed the lifting of the ban on importation of mitumba put earlier by the government.
The government and traders agreed on these seven directives;
“(1) All mitumba importers shall be required to register with the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS);
“(2) Mitumba (used clothing and shoes) shall be packed in bales that do not exceed 50kg. The Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development and KEBS shall initiate necessary corrective measures;
“(3) Mitumba importers will be required to obtain pre-shipment fumigation certificates in addition to complying with health protocols as directed by the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development and KEBS. Importers will ensure that fumigation is undertaken before baling in compliance with the established standards;
“(4) Mitumba importers will be required to adhere to the KEBS standards and ensure that prohibited items are not imported into the country by instituting necessary sorting and categorization mechanisms before baling. The members of the association have committed to observing this requirement and have been made aware of the sanctions associated with its violation;
“(5) For ease of contact tracing and tax compliance, importers and wholesalers of mitumba shall be required to submit to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and KEBS, a register of their first tier customers;
“(6) Mitumba importers will ensure that they obtain certificates of conformity from KEBS contracted agents in the country of origin before importation;
“(7) KEBS and KRA shall undertake necessary random inspections to ensure compliance with relevant laws and will take action against offenders in accordance with the law.”