Kenyans are purchasing more second-hand clothes, common as mitumba than they did last year driving the sales to a high 7.8 billion shillings.
The sales rose by a fifth in the first half of the year frustrating the Government’s efforts to intake locally made clothing.
The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) data indicate that the import bill for mitumba has risen by 20 percent from last year’s 6.5 billion shillings.
The KNBS data reveals that the capacity grew from 69,930 tonnes to 81,413 tonnes which is a 16.4 percent increase of imports at a similar duration last year while the export of textile hit a low of 11.1 percent from 1.8 billion shillings to 1.6 billion shillings in the first half of 2017.
An end of the elections seems to have boosted business as bail price remained consistent.
“As the year began, all the way to early July, business was alright as bail prices were consistent. This year’s financial budget, however, has not spared us as bail prices have shot up too. A bail of sport shoes grade one was selling at 20,000 shillings and is now selling at 24,000 shillings,” said Jared Njuguna who sells second-hand clothes at Gikomba market.
Second-hand clothes sellers’ feel tax increase in this year’s financial year has stalled the pace of cargo clearing at the Mombasa port.
Treasury Cabinet Secretary (CS) Henry Rotich enforced an import duty of 5 dollars per kilogram from the previous 0.2 dollars per kilogram. The CS explained that the increased taxes targeted protecting against the low cost of imported products, which make it impossible for local industries to blossom.
Kenyans fancy mitumba clothes given their high quality, varying designs, and most important low prices. This adversely affects the local textile industries whose products are not just expensive compared to the mitumbas but also lack in creativeness compared to the second-hand clothes.