As we have reported in our previous post about radical movements from Kenya government to transform the auto industry, Kenya goverment had issued a ban that makes it illegal to import vehicles older than eight years into the East African country. Kenya’ government says the ban, part of a proposed new National Automotive Policy, will over time be extended to cover five year old vehicles, before the total proscription of all used cars in Kenya.
In a dramatic twist however, the Kenyan Parliament voted to suspend the government action. Using the agency of the Trade, Industry and Cooperative Committee, the National assembly stood down the order. The committee’s chairman, Kanini Kega (Kieni), called the government ban a “roadside pronouncement”, saying there was no constitutional force to the ban.
The Parliamentary suspension of the unpopular ban was received gladly by used car dealers
The news of the suspension comes as cheery news to Kenya’s used car dealers, who had protested the ban, citing massive job loss and loss of income for scores of families.
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Peter Munya, Kenya’s Trade Cabinet secretary, was present at the committee meeting and quickly agreed that the government had not included stakeholders in the decision making. He admitted further that the policy had bypassed Parliamentary input and the participation of the sector itself. He suggested a one-year interim before the law could become active, as this would also enable a more inclusive approach. The Cabinet Secretary blamed the legislators for always being ready to point out faults in policies of government, but shying away from providing workable solutions themselves.
Kenya has a thriving market for used foreign auto imports
In their turn, the lawmakers blamed the executive for proffering rushed policies that never considered the effects on Kenya’s economy. Kenyan used car dealers had earlier complained about stiff taxes imposed on them by the government. They claimed the tax burden was too heavy and was undermining their businesses. The Government in a counter statement had refuted the amount in taxation that the dealers quoted.