Gov't orders immediate ban on mitumba clothes import

Move aimed at protecting Kenyans from coronavirus

Kenya's Ministry of Industrialization orders immediate ban on mitumba clothes import

The government, through the ministry of Industrialization has announced an immediate ban on import of second hand clothes - popularly known as mitumba.

The ban was announced by Industrialization CS Betty Maina who said it was intended to caution Kenyans from the deadly coronavirus pandemic that has sent shock waves around the world.

CS Maina added that the directive would boost the local textile industry which has faced a lot of competition from cheap second hand clothes imported from Europe, North America, and in China.

"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 corona virus," a statement from the ministry read in part.

Prior to the ban, traders at Gikomba Market, one of the most popularly mitumba markets - had complained that fear of the coronavirus was having a negative effect on their businesses.

The development came only a day after a new study by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that the coronavirus can stay longer on surfaces that initially thought.

This is after coronavirus particles were found on a cruise ship - seventeen days after it was vacated.

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