Response to media reports on shortage of material for Police uniforms
Following recent media reports on the alleged shortage of material for the new Police uniforms, Kenya Association of Manufacturers would like to state the following;
- That any reports or claims that the locally produced material for the new police uniforms are in short supply or unavailable, are false, inaccurate and set to derail the country’s efforts towards achieving the Buy Kenya, Build Kenya Policy.
- We wish to categorically emphasize that local factories have the capacity to produce fabrics required by all disciplined forces within the country included and not limited to the Police Force.
- We also wish to note that, local textile factories have undergone thorough vetting and subsequent approval to take part in the competitive bidding to produce these uniforms, by the relevant Government Ministries and Agencies including, The Ministry for Interior and Coordination of National Government, The Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives. This approval was given based on their capacity to meet the requirements, standards and production quantities needed by the disciplined forces.
- More importantly, the move by Government to involve local industries in the production of uniforms for disciplined forces was in line with our call as a country to reduce imports, build capacity for local industries, whilst expanding existing value chains and creating new ones, ultimately creating more productive jobs for the citizens of our great country.
- Additionally, the involvement of local industries in the production of these uniforms will see a significant reduction to the import deficit that currently negatively impacts our economy, and bring upon huge savings in terms of Foreign Exchange – thereby increasing our Country’s revenue stream.
- By procuring directly from local manufacturers, the Government will save huge costs typically incurred by involving import middlemen and traders, and will also be in a position to monitor and evaluate the quality and quantity of production. Additionally, local manufacturers can work with the disciplined forces to address any foreseen challenges promptly as opposed to the high lead times experienced when importing.
- As KAM, we echo the sentiments by the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and National Coordination, Fred Matiang’i issued yesterday in saying that, any calls for importation of products that can be locally made, dilutes the country’s ability to create sustainable jobs. It denies our citizens the opportunities to acquire jobs and raise their standards of living, and, it makes local production uncompetitive thereby shrinking the local manufacturing sector.
Kenya Association of Manufacturers wishes to reiterate our commitment to the Buy Kenya Build Kenya Policy, assuring all Kenyan citizens of our local industries’ capacity to sustainably produce Textiles, Apparels, Leather and Footwear items required by our disciplined forces and by the country at large.
Local manufacturers are on standby for the tendering process to be opened in order to competitively bid for the opportunity to produce the uniforms. It is worth noting that since the disciplined forces materials are a sensitive security item, therefore no manufacturer can manufacture them to stock without authorization in a formal tender award.
Given the strong and long-lasting impact of this directive to our economy and population for generations, the endeavor to reduce importation of any products that can be made locally, and to support local manufacturing should be a top priority for all.