……………..Talk about the illegal illicit substandard contraband import goods which have flooded our markets which at most times evades paying taxes….. But, how can these illicit contraband imports enter into our markets under the noses of the Government institutions that are charged to control them? They turn a blind eye……

……..Talk about the illegal illicit substandard contraband import goods which have flooded our markets which at most times evades paying taxes. Like never before these illicit sub standard contraband goods especially from China have flooded our markets thus disrupting our market forces…..for they are cheap imports which are mostly fake products.

A case in point of concerning these cheap imports was highlighted by one Kenyan recently, that these fake, cheap import products on the shelves are endangering our lives. He said that there has being a phenomenal growth of substandard import goods in Kenya.

He said that he recently bought an instant water heating system which lasted only 3 days and it failed. After he returned it to the vendor, their technician informed him that something inside the instant water heating system blew up due to power fluctuations. He was further informed that the product has no guarantee, and, no spare parts.

And, he wonders that if such products are marketed here, Kenyans are not only exposed to financial losses but are also at a greater risk of physical harm.

This is the scenario which Kenyan citizenry are grappling with in their lives…..the fake sub-standard imports goods….which have flooded our markets for you can’t differentiate the genuine product, or, the fake one. It is as if our country has become the dumping site of these fake sub-standard imports goods.

According to informed sources, these fake, illegal, illicit contraband imports doesn’t go through the required standardization processes to authenticate their suitability to the Kenyans. And, this was evidently proved recently where sugar and rice which weren’t fit for human consumption were nabbed in our markets.

The extent of damage that has been done by these illicit contraband imports is evident and is causing ripple effects in our economy. These fake illegal imports are circulating freely in the economy forcing many companies to shut down their operations, relocate to other market-friendly nations, while others are facing survival battles.

These companies have been forced to shut down due to fierce competition from these illicit contraband imports. And, the standards of goods have been compromised as some of the very officials employed to guard against such economic crimes look the other way.

The damage of these illicit imports is a double-edged sword facing our country economic progression for it denies the Government the necessary taxes to drive its development agenda. It also disrupts the manufacturing sector which is one of the key pillars which drives the economy for it creates employment and also the Government collects taxes from the manufacturing sector.

And, with many firms bringing in cheap substandard imports and at the same time evading taxes reviving manufacturing sector may remain a fanciful hope.

Methinks that this is what transpired in President Kenyatta’s mind when he formed a task force meant to contain these illicit, substandard imports which have been evading paying taxes.

From what the task force has managed to unearth and unfold is a world where there is a booming underground economy in almost all sectors. It is a black market that has a big network controlled by powerful individuals {cartels}, who are roaming free in almost all sectors of the economy thus jeopardizing the effectiveness of policy planners.

It is a secret economy run by powerful cartels out to cut corners and a lid has been lifted offering a sneak preview into the shadowy dealings estimated to be at the tune of Kshs. 200 Billion.

It is being said that if you do a fact check on how many containers leave China destined for Kenya, and, how many are registered at the customs department for tax, you will begin to understand the enormity of the rot.

The rot that has been perpetuated in our markets by these illicit contraband imports is quite telling and is being felt in the economy. But, how can these illicit contraband imports enter into our markets under the noses of the Government institutions that are charged to control them? They turn a blind eye.

The unfortunate scenario is that this business has brought aboard employees of the very agencies supposed to protect consumers. We can understand that these agencies may be overwhelmed by these fake imports coming through informal channels, but we can’t understand how they can fail to protect consumers where imports are coming through formal channels.

Recently, Kenya Revenue Authority, and, Kenya Bureau of Standard officials were charged in Court for clearing substandard and contaminated sugars and rice in the market. And, this case portrays how these Government officials create room for cartels to roam easily.


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