We are committed to war against counterfeits, says Trade PS Kiptoo
MOMBASA, Kenya, Feb 22 – The National Government is committed on the war against counterfeit goods, Trade Principal Secretary Chris Kiptoo said on Friday.
Kiptoo, accompanied by the Director, Weights and Measures Department, Michael Onyancha among other government officials, witnessed the destruction of expired rice and other electronic goods worth Sh10 million at Bamburi Cement factory in Mombasa.
“Today we are in Mombasa. We will not stop here, destruction of illicit goods will go on around the country,” said Kiptoo.
He said so far, the National Government has seized and destroyed illicit goods worth over Sh2 billion over the last one year.
He said in September last year they were in Athi-River in Machakos County where President Uhuru Kenyatta witnessed the destruction of illicit goods worth Sh1.5 billion included 149 motor vehicles.
In December, they were in Eldoret for yet another destruction.
“We have launched country-wide enforcement activities in all corners of the country. The message should be clear to anyone involved in illicit trade; The government will deal firmly with you without consideration of your social status, class or any other diversity,” said Kiptoo.
He said the Kenyan market has been infiltrated with counterfeit products, however, most of the time, Kenyans look at illicit trade as other government’s problem.
“When we individually suffer from the economic, health and safety consequences, that is when we realize that we are all victims,” said the PS.
Kiptoo announced that an Inter-Agency Anti-Illicit Trade Executive Forum and Technical Working Group representing all the enforcement agencies has been set up and gazetted.
He said the working group has since come up with a National Strategy for Combating Illicit Trade.
“We will soon validate the strategy through stakeholder participation and as we look forward towards its launch in March this year,” he said.