Malawi bans importation and sale of second-hand underwear: Mixed reaction

Market traders in Malawi will be banned from selling second-hand underwear and other items, a move which  has received mixed reactions as some traders fear this will negatively impact their economic livelihoods.

Malawi bans importation and sale of second-hand knickers and bras

The decision by the Malawi government to impose a ban on the importation of secondhand underwears is in line with the new Control of Goods Act, which aims to restrict imports and encourage local manufacturing.

The Minister of Trade, Sosten Gwengwe, said in Lilongwe on Wednesday that following the enactment of the Act, all import and export permits have been revoked and new ones will be issued in respect of the new trade regime.

The licences that were under the previous regime expired on 24 July after the gazette of the new law.

Government contends that used pants – and other second-hand goods like handkerchiefs and mattresses – are unhygienic and could pose a health hazard.

The minister said the new law challenges local industry to produce the products that need not to be imported like tooth picks and vegetables.

Gwengwe has disclosed that the traders will be able to get new permits by 7 August 2020.

However, vendors who have been surviving on sale of secondhand underwear and related items have expressed fear this will have a negative impact on their economic activities.

“We will certainly be affected because those items were selling faster because of their cheaper prices. And this helped us survive in town,” said John Banda, a vendor at the Lilongwe Flea Market.

Others have said government has hastened in effecting the Act, arguing Malawi does not have the machinery and expertise to have locally-products user-friendly products.

“Just because Chakwera has said those ministers who will not deliver will be removed doesn’t mean that you present dreams in your ministry and you think Malawians will buy your crude hallucinations. Malawi to get to a stage where it can be called an industrial entity, time and good resource utilisation need to be applied. If you think producing toothpicks will involve scraping bamboos with knives or razor blades, then forget it Mr. Gwengwe. Anduna, serious?” a social media user writing under the name Marcus Garvey asked.

Abiti Chezunana, another market trader, defended the secondhand business.

“Second-hand underwear and other clothes we sell are better quality than new undies in the stores,” she said.

She admitted that some of the imported underwear was stained but said customers rummage through the piles and inspect goods before buying.

Second-hand clothing is often referred to as ‘Kaunjika’.

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Wachisoni
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Wachisoni

This is a brilliant idea. Kaunjika is killing our textile industry and these clothes are reservoirs of corna! The President is being a leader here. There are so many questions I am asking about your leadership so far but on this one I agree totally! Ban them with effect from last year!l let’s develop our own way of developing our form of dressing. Let people come to Malawi to buy Malawi designs! Malawi textile! Let Malawians gain experience in running textile businesses! Start small and build up to become an entity! a brand! Excellent Mr President. Let’s change our mind… Read more »

The Saint
Guest
The Saint

Kikkkkkk koma ziliko, mwasiya a Minister kuvala second hand Pants now? You can’t stop second hand clothes just because of Coronavirus! These Chinese they don’t make good Pants Sir, their pants are friends of Nyena and they attract too much Nsabwe. Oh God, inuyo tazigulani zanuzo, asiyeni a Malawi avale za second hand zo! Aaaaaaaa no! Osautsa nkwiyo pazinthu zopanda pake nanuso! Pants? A full Minister can just think of Pants?

pyola
Guest
pyola

Join the discussion…Gwengwe not only pants. Ban the whole kaunjika business. By allowing kaunjika in Malawi. You are exporting jobs. Go anywhere in the world they will not waste their hard earned forex on second hand cloth. It was mbuzi Bakili Muluzi who brought in kaunjika. Look at the textile industry now in Malawi it is finished because of kaunjika.

Contrarian
Guest
Contrarian

Bill ya mapanti ikufanana ndi ya ziphwisi. Koma zoona mpakana ma honorable kukakambira nkhaniyi ndi cholinga chopanga lamulo? UNDERWEAR ACT 2020.

Mdala
Guest
Mdala

Most of this goods are made out of material and cloth which we have to import as well. Things like elastic and most of the synthetic materials are not available and must be exported in the end it’s to costly! I doubt that the tailors and the industry around have a big benefit out of this!
It will result, that Chinese Dealers have their big benefit out of it, to the disadvantage of us Malawians.

Kambuku Chakwera
Guest

Izooooo 1 million jobs ija yalepheleka. Gule kwawo gule kwawo kukasiya.

Mwinithako
Guest
Mwinithako

Sapato kkk mubananso??? kkkk Mabwana amaoneka ngati kuti kkkk

tiko
Guest
tiko

aletsa panti wa kaunjika osati wa nyuwani. Izi ndi zabwino nanga kumavala panti wovala kale. if this is okay for you bwerani mudzatenge anga ovalavala.

MalawianCritics
Guest
MalawianCritics

Chakwera, you are an idiot and a fool. You clearly know nothing about economics which is why you make decisions like a child.

zenizeni
Guest
zenizeni

enanu simuvetsa i think,anena underwear osati kaunjika wa zovala koma mapanti,matress,handkachief.please tavetsetsani busines ya kaunjika is still on

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