Second-hand clothes dealers’ tax bill hits Sh15 billion

Traders selling Second-hand clothes. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Second-hand clothes importers paid Sh15.85 billion ($112.4 million) in taxes from in 2021, a new report shows, signalling the industry’s contribution to the economy.

A report from the sector lobby Mitumba Association of Kenya shows the country imported 183,504 tonnes of second-hand clothes valued at Sh24.3 billion ($172.6 million) generating Sh15.85 billion ($112.4 million) in government tax revenues in 2021.

The report hands the lobby another tool to fight policies to stop importation of these clothes in efforts to grow Kenya's textile sector.

Kenya held the largest share of 'mitumba' market in East Africa followed by the Democratic Republic of the Congo with 157,224 tonnes valued at Sh18 billion ($128 million), Uganda (92,066 tonnes) valued at Sh13.7 billion ($97.2 million) and Tanzania's 90,035 tonnes valued at Sh14.9 billion ($105.8 million).

“I am pleased to launch our latest report ahead of African trade ministers converging in Kenya this week. The report shows once again how important the mitumba industry is to Kenya and East Africa,” said Teresiah Wairimu, the chairperson of the Mitumba Consortium Association of Kenya (MCAK).

The report comes as trade ministers converge in Kenya this week for the 54th All-Africa Trade Ministers Meeting of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), where the origin of textiles is set to be discussed.

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Note: The results are not exact but very close to the actual.