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State workers to wear ‘made in Kenya’ clothes on Fridays, public holidays

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Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho (centre) and other senior government officials donned African attire at this year’s Mashujaa Day celebrations in Mombasa on Sunday. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Summary

  • Government workers have been directed to wear Kenya-made African clothes on Fridays and public holidays in the latest onslaught on second hand (mitumba) imports.
  • In a circular from the office of the Attorney General dated October 17, 2019, government staff have been asked to ensure the clothes are tailored to suit work environment.
  • Mr Ogeto Tuesday confirmed the authenticity of the circular containing the directive which took effect on October 18, saying government staff now have an official dress code.

Government workers have been directed to wear Kenya-made African clothes on Fridays and public holidays in the latest onslaught on second hand (mitumba) imports.

In a circular from the office of the Attorney General dated October 17, 2019, government staff have been asked to ensure the clothes are tailored to suit work environment.

“Pursuant to the achievement of the Big 4 Agenda and specifically the expansion of Manufacturing Pillar by producing better goods and creating local employment, I direct that all members of staff shall on all Fridays be dressed in decent, smart casual Kenyan produced and tailored attire,” the circular signed by Solicitor General Kennedy Ogeto reads in part.

Mr Ogeto Tuesday confirmed the authenticity of the circular containing the directive which took effect on October 18, saying government staff now have an official dress code.

It was however unclear whether the State intends to finance the purchase of the African dresses for its staff after it directed top government officials and ministries adhere to the instructions.

The ongoing implementation was evident during Mashujaa Day celebrations on Sunday in Mombasa where the usual flashy suits worn by top officials were replaced by colourful African design attires.

President Kenyatta, his deputy William Ruto and cabinet secretaries all wore Kenyan- made attires in move said to be setting an example for other Kenyans to embrace local products. Some of the governors, including Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho and his Kilifi counterpart Amason Kingi also wore similar attires.

The outfits were reportedly made at Bedi Investment Limited, a textile firm based in Nakuru County.

The clothes are expected to become a new trend for the government employees across departments with the aim of promoting the local textile industries.

This is not the first time the Government has pushed for the adoption of Kenyan wear to boost local markets. During the commissioning of ultramodern textile industry Rivatex this year, President Kenyatta appealed to Kenyans to proudly wear “Made in Kenya” clothes.

“For government to lead by example, I urge all public servants to wear at least one piece of garment made in Kenya on Fridays,” he added. During the function, the President was wearing a shirt that was made at Rivatex.

In March last year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, declared Fridays as Kenyan attire day.

In a memo to Directors, Heads of Departments and various units, Tom Amolo, the Political and Diplomatic Secretary in the ministry said that “Africaness” should be used as a tool for diplomacy.

“We brand our nation as much through our choice of attire, as what we may say or do,” Mr Amolo wrote.