Light at the end of the tunnel for mitumba traders as gov’t issues new importation protocols

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The government has cleared the mitumba import blockade after publishing new protocols allowing traders to make new orders.

The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) alongside the Ministry of Trade has published new guidelines which are expected to end the agony of traders as most of them had closed down their businnesses.

The government stopped  the importation of mitumba as part of measures to contain spread of COVID-19.

The new guidelines include: each bale of textiles is expected to contain a single category of garments and shall be labelled by mass, category, name of supplier, country of origin and the address of the importer.

The consignment of supply shall be limited in line with existing standards which bar the importation of second hand night ware, hospital wear, undergarments and bath towels.

A bale of shoes shall likewise carry one single type and shall have labels of mass, category and addresses of the supplier and importer.

Mitumba wholesalers are expected to adhere to COVID-19 protocols by the Ministry of Health including the fumigation of stores, the maintenance of inventory, provision of hand-washing stations and the wearing of masks.

Further, buyers are required to purchase mitumba from licensed business premises alone and obtain physical and mobile phone details of the seller along with the adherence of general guidelines by the Ministry of Health.