President Yoweri Museveni has reignited his push to completely ban what he called “dead people’s clothes” from being imported into Uganda.
Museveni made the announcement shortly after commissioning 16 new factories in the Sino-Uganda Mbale Industrial Park, some of which are involved in the manufacturing of clothes.
The President announced on Thursday that he will this time follow through on banning second-hand clothes now that Uganda is able to manufacture its own new garments on a large scale.
Museveni told uncoveredug news reporters that “I told you before that those secondhand clothes are for dead people from abroad. When the white people die, all their clothes are collected, packed in bales, and brought to us, the Africans”.
“I have been silent about this matter, but where we are now, I ask that you support me in stopping the importation of second-hand clothes,” he said.
“These factories employ over 2000 youths, and many of them are making new clothes for us. But they cannot have them sold if the market is flooded with dead people’s clothes. So, for these grandchildren of mine here, I am now declaring war on second-hand clothes.
President Museveni, on the other hand, thanked the Chinese investors for reviving Uganda’s textile industry.
However, the president said these investors had now given him the strength to rid the country of secondhand clothes, also known as Mivumba.
Earlier in 2017, when Uganda first tried to ban secondhand clothes, it faced threats from the United States government following a petition filed by Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles, a leading exporter of secondhand clothing in the United States.
In 2020, the Uganda National Bureau of Standards was forced to rescind the ban on Mivumba importation amid outrage from importers.
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