Zim Fashion Designer Urges Govt To Ban “Mabhero”

Zimbabwean fashion designer and entrepreneur Joyce Chimanye has urged the government to enforce the ban on the importation of second-hand clothes (mabhero) to protect Zimbabwe’s struggling textile industry.

Chimanye said the influx of cheap imports, including second-hand clothes is killing the country’s textile companies.

Speaking to Alpha Media Holdings chairperson Trevor Ncube on the platform “In Conversation with Trevor”, Chimanye said:

I suppose this is what our government really needs to seriously look into.


To look at what fashion is contributing, the figures it is contributing to the global GDP.


Who are the brands that are manufacturing? Where is manufacturing being done?


And then look at how they can protect our industry in terms of second-hand clothing.


I have just done training with ZimTrade, in partnership with an expert from Germany, and she was once into garment manufacturing and she is now into training.


You find that she was sharing the fact that she was in Rwanda a few months ago and Rwanda banned the importation and sale of second-hand clothing in their country.

I think it is really up to governments to look into what areas the people can benefit in terms of job creation and make a deliberate effort to actually ban (second-hand clothes).

I know they have banned it, there is an SI (statutory instrument) that was put out some years ago, but the policing, there is no policing because it is happening.

You find that, for example, in certain countries, there are certain things that import duties on those things are heavy in order to protect the local industry.

When you look at the case of Bangladesh for example, the Bangladeshi government came up with the policy, I think it was in the 1970s, and they decided to actually slowly reduce imports and start producing.

And at some point, Bangladesh was the second highest exporter and even exporting so much to the USA because of a policy that their government had put in place to actually protect the industry.

I think a conversation needs to be held between the government and the private sector, and even young people to say what is our future in terms of garment manufacturing in Zimbabwe.

How are we going to secure jobs for our young people in this industry? And then for people to actually execute that plan.



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