Manufacturers have lauded government’s fight against counterfeiters and illicit trade, terming them critical to promoting the local industry.
Through the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), they praised President Uhuru Kenyatta’s appointment of the Deputy Head of Civil Service, Wanyama Musiambo, to spearhead this campaign. “This is a much needed intervention in the fight against the growing criminal networks”, a statement from KAM read.
Recent investigative activities and seizures by Government agencies and state departments such as, confiscation of fake contraceptives led by Industrialization Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohammed, the destruction of 15 million worth of illicit alcohol in Kisumu by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and dumping of 400 tonnes of contraband sugar by Principal Secretary, State Department of Trade, among others, are an indication that the intervention is bearing fruit for industry and consumers.
They noted that the fight against illicit trade has been a difficult task despite numerous collaborative efforts by both Government and Industry. “The keenness, to embolden these initiatives, by the Office of the President assures investors of the full Government support in terms of resources, intelligence and security apparatus,” the statement added.
According to a study on the vice of counterfeiting in Kenya, which was done in 2012, it is estimated that an approximate sh30 billion (US$ 42 million) is lost by Kenyan manufacturers per year, while the Government loses over sh6 billion (US$80million) annually as potential tax revenue.
“Counterfeits and illicit trade diminish our efforts to achieve the Big Four Plan as a country because every pillar of the agenda is gravely affected and inundated with counterfeits and criminal networks. It is high time we extinguish these activities as they imperil our economic development, governance structures, national security and supply chain integrity”, KAM said.