Industry Trade and Cooperatives Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya

Kenya:Traders oppose the proposed car import policy

By Samuel Ouma | @journalist_27

Industry Trade and Cooperatives Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya
Industry Trade and Cooperatives Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya

Second-hand car traders have pleaded with President Uhuru Kenyatta to stop the implementation of the proposal aiming at reducing age limit of used cars imported into the country.

The traders under the Kenya Auto Bazaar Association condemned the Draft National Automobile Policy limiting age of imported cars to five years by July this year and to three years by 2021terming it discriminatory.

“We strongly feel and believe that this proposed policy is very discriminative and solely designed, motivated and proposed to first frustrate then finally, completely destroy the used car import business in Kenya and make car ownership in our country a rare privilege for only a few and out of reach for more than 85% of the population,” read the letter to the President.

The association claimed it plays a crucial role in revenue generation which will help the government to achieve its four big agenda which includes manufacturing, universal health, food security and affordable housing.

In an open letter presented to the Head of State, the association said the age limit clause would cause unemployment to several entrepreneurs, salespeople, owners, mechanics and traders.

“We are also contributing to the National government in excess of Kshs.49 billion (USD$49 million) in taxes annually and providing livelihoods to thousands of Kenyans,” further started the letter.

The dealers called on the President to instruct Trade, Industry and Cooperative Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya to put on hold the implementation of the policy till their grievances are addressed.

They demanded that Munya should convene a new consultative forum that comprise of all manufacturers and automotive stakeholders.

Implementation of the order will lead to a hike in the price of all second hand vehicles imports to above Kshs. 1 million (USD $10,000) from hundreds of thousands. By July only vehicles manufactured in 2015 will be imported into the country.

The policy indicates that the new vehicle dealers in Kenya such as Peugeot and Volkswagen succeeded in lobbying the government to control importation of used cars.

The government’s decision is aiming at boosting the local motor vehicle manufacturing industries in the country.

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