Malawi govt asked to ban Kaunjika, open way for local design

Traders in Malawi will be banned from selling second-hand clothes – known as Kaunjika, the  Chinyanja word for “bundles” –   if calls by textile and garment industry are accepted by government to help the country revive its own textile industry, which was wiped out in the late 1990s as the country started opening its markets to foreign competition.

Malawi bans importation and sale of second-hand knickers and bras
Second-hand clothes are sold to vendors from warehouses in bales
Minister Roy Kachale: Best Buy made in Malawi

When Minister of Industry Roy Kachale visited  the textile and garment industry players in Lilongwe and Mchinji to appreciate the quality of the products and challenges they face,  players in the textile and garment industry made a call that government should  ban  used clothing to boost local manufacturing

Kachale said it was Ministry of Trade which could act on that.

He, however, said government will strive to empower local producers and promote the ‘Best buy made in Malawi’,  to preserve foreign  currency and empower people to achieve tangible socio-economic development.

“We are giving the opportunity to small and medium enterprises, but we are not going to do it if we are not sure of the quality that is required,” said Kachale.

The minister said most uniforms or garments in State security agencies are imported; hence government took  a deliberate step to ensure that products manufactured locally are prioritised in procurement.

Kachale said local designers and manufacturers should collaborate and take baby steps to push the industry towards maturity.

He said the  Tonse Alliance led government is set to incentivise local manufacturers.

But Textiles and tailoring Cooperative chairperson Linley Chimwaza said ban on second-hand clothing was one step towards making conditions more favourable for a local scene to eventually flourish.

“Malawians have the capacity but we need government support and protection to grow the industry and the economy,” Chimwaza said.

She said they want a ban of Kaunjika to spur them to start shaping the future of fashion in Malawi.

Malawi government  – through the ministry of trade – already imposed a ban on the importation of second-hand under wears is in line with the new Control of Goods Act, which aims to restrict imports and encourage local manufacturing.

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

Unwanted clothing from the Western world was imported at such a low cost that local textile factories and self-employed tailors could not compete.

Abiti Chezunana, another market trader, defended the second-hand business, saying the West’s cast-offs were so cheap that local textile factories and self-employed tailors could not compete.

“Most Malawians depend on Kaunjika and spend hours looking and searching. Many fashion lovers they  like the diversity of second-hand,” she said.

She said he was not against the plan to develop local industries but said the fair thing would be to allow competition for second-hand clothes because “people should be allowed to have choices”.

Betchani Tchereni, economics lecturer at The Polytechnic, a constituent College of the University of Malawi, said government  should introduce hefty taxes on second-hand clothes as one way to protect the local industry.

He  argued that domestic demand for locally made clothes was being suffocated by cheap, second-hand clothes.

Minister of Finance Felix Mlusu announced in the 2020/21 Budget Statement that government will prioritise the local manufacturing industry when buying textile products such as uniforms for security agencies, among others.

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Tizanka
Tizanka
29 days ago

The challenge of being led by elitists. Muzivala crown fashion muli phee. Iwo azikaitanitsa zovala ku joweni

Kumavalo Nsamaonetsa Nyoni
Kumavalo Nsamaonetsa Nyoni
30 days ago

Do you read the labels of the clothes you call fashion,quality etc?

Made in China,Vietnam,Thailand,India etc.

I don’t think they grow cotton in those countries, I don’t think they export everything and start importing kaunjika.

Africans are very easy to eliminate from the surface of the earth through their obsession with anything foreign

Hahawhy
Hahawhy
30 days ago

Show us ghe malawi made clothes, instead you are advertising kaunjika and the ministers salute

Austin
Austin
1 month ago

Ife tinazolowera kubvala msapato Za belo ma Nike, adidas,Jordan ,vans all-star, and 1and mukaunji mumapezeka ma Jean a original and ma t-shirt abho ndiye mukufuna tibwelele Moyo wa chikale omabvala kutchena, ngondola tizioneka ngati azimwale anthu pano anazindikira ukubvala ma label muganize bwino

Jocker
1 month ago

You mean you want to take us back tidzibvala makhakhi

Hmariwa
Hmariwa
1 month ago

The issue of insulting the leadership of this country does not stand. What many of us do not know is that most issues appear in this column say burning of clothes etc are not coming from one person at all. The President and his Vice discuss these matters before they are published.The best way to join their ideas is to simply advise them promptly and not shouting or insulting them like this guy who claims to have travelled extensively dr.love. President Chakwera had nothing to do with it. Please Malawians do not take their positions (Chakwera and Chilima) for granted.… Read more »

Kaude
Kaude
1 month ago
Reply to  Hmariwa

What do you mean the president does not know about this? Do you think a mere minister can ban kaunjika without being sent by the president? No no no. What I can agree with you is that it has nothing to do with Chilima. Chilima is too smart for this. I wished he were the leader.

Janebiz
Janebiz
30 days ago
Reply to  Hmariwa

Iwe ndi leadershipiyo pachakuti panu. Busy kubwela ndi nzeru zopusa. Mukamwe madzi ometela mavuzi. Zitsilu inu eti. Can’t you introduce your new shops without banning.Tikakudyelani Kumwamba?

Last edited 30 days ago by Janebiz
akanatani Bauleni
akanatani Bauleni
1 month ago

Chonsecho Machine osokera amapangidwa kunja, nanu pangani anu basi koma its very undemocratic to limit anthu choices of zovala zomwe akugula. we buyzoval from TZ , RSA Kenya USA UK Turkey etc and these are not 2nd Hand. do you mean to say these do not affect your industry. Nzeru zakutherani basi, go back to school or reinvent new designs osati zovala mukusokazo

Truth pains
Truth pains
1 month ago

Mzotheka with strategy, ask me and will help

Banda
Banda
1 month ago

Considering Malawi does not have textile mills to produce polyester, silk, denim, fleece Malawi is forced to import raw finished goods into the country. To assist the home industry Government should be looking at reducing tariffs and duty on certain fabrics such as polyester and cotton. To suddenly stop the import of 2nd hand clothes is ridiculous when so many depend on the sales for their own business and clothing. The suggestion is reduce one business for another. Everything stays the same no gain. Government must start thinking outside the box Chamba a $320 Billion market was suggested yet nothing… Read more »

Keen Observer
Keen Observer
1 month ago

I dont think that is the correct way. The correct way is for those so called local producers or designers whatever their name is to produce quality so that they can export NOT impose it on the locals. I just read I believe it was on this same platform if its not Malawi 24 that another lady in Thyolo has been ripped off her lower lip by her friend whom she owes 500 Malawi Kwacha. Imagine? That shows the level of poverty amongst our people. So when making these decisions it is wise to consider those that are in the… Read more »

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