Senators have criticised Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) recent ban on importation of used motor vehicle parts in the wake of protests from dealers.
Although Kebs has denied banning the importation of used car spare parts, the lawmakers say the ban, despite its good intentions, is ill-timed and ill-informed.
Senators Aaron Cheruiyot (Kericho), Samson Cherargei (Nandi) and their nominated colleagues Agnes Zani, Naomi Waqo and Gertrude Musuruve want Kebs management summoned to explain why they are “fighting small traders” majority being youth.
“It is unfortunate that we are always thinking about putting a stop to the livelihood of Kenyans without providing an alternative solution,” Cheruiyot said.
“I will be more than glad to support this policy if the Cabinet Secretary had said we have built an industry perhaps, in Nakuru, Kisumu or whichever part of the country that now has the capacity to employ 20,000 young people,” he added. His sentiments were shared by Senator Musuruve who said the ban was not well thought out and urged the government to lift it.
Zani said the number of young people committing suicide in the country is alarming.
“If we are not careful, that number will increase because we will have increased the poverty level of our people and the frustrations that people go through in order to feed their families,” said the senator. The senators who were reacting to statement sought by Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja indicated the ban will have a negative impact on thousands of Kenyans who depend on the trade for their livelihoods.
“Their livelihoods will be grossly jeopardised. 80 per cent of motorists in our country depend on secondhand car spare parts, which are affordable,” Senator Sakaja told the House.