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Govt To Issue Alternatives For Mitumba Clothes Owners

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Gikomba-marketThe government will not issue a blanket ban on the importation of second-hand clothes popularly known as mitumba.

Industry and Enterprise Development Principal secretary Julius Koris said the government and the East African Community do not plan to ban the sale of mitumba without providing alternatives for consumers and traders.

Korir told a national stakeholders’ workshop on Thursday that the matter is sensitive and needs to be addressed seriously.

The government plans to ban the importation of mitumba clothes in phases over the next three years.

The plan is also being considered at the EAC level, with Uganda already crafting laws to stop mitumba imports.

The PS said the industry needs interventions such as removing barriers and creating incentives for investors to make the trade more competitive, for competition with evolving markets.

EAC states, Korir added, should develop an effective and sustainable implementation environment for policies formulated to address the issue.

Tabled proposals, other than the ban, include raising the duty rates for finished clothes to above 50 per cent or a minimum specific duty of $10 (Sh1,013).

Another option is setting up regional fall-back processing parks to produce clothes at cheaper rates for the domestic market.

THE STAR

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