Curfew: Brutality Against Suppliers Could Disrupt the Supply Chain, Kenya Manufacturers

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Kenyan manufacturers have faulted the Interior Ministry’s harassment and brutalization, by some of its law enforcement officers, of Essential Service Providers, in implementing the dawn to dusk curfew.

Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), the sector’s lobby, says: “Many businesses are now hesitant to continue their operations as directed, and this could cause supply chain disruptions and shortages.”

Sachen Gudka, KAM Chair in a statement he said the harassment and brutality by law enforcement officers on essential service producers go against the Government’s efforts to ensure that there is a continued supply of food and basic products to all Kenyans at this critical time.

“As an Association, we would like to urgently appeal to the National Security Advisory Council and Law Enforcement Agencies to work together with Essential Service Providers, under the protocols and guidelines agreed upon for the sake of getting our country through this difficult period,” Gudka said.

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Globally, containment efforts of COVID 19 have involved quarantines and widespread restrictions on labour mobility and travel, resulting in disruption to global supply chains, weaker final demand for imported goods and services, and the wider regional declines in international tourism and business travel. 

In Kenya, the impact of the pandemic is already being felt and coupled with the curfew, ti is disrupting the economy especially key sectors like manufacturing, tourism and hospitality, horticulture and diaspora remittances. It has also led to the closure of companies likely to cause job losses, affect wage earners and Small and Micro Enterprises.

The manufacturers say together with their partners the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), met with the Inspector General of Police, as well as the COVID-19 Multi-Agency Planning Team on Friday and agreed on protocols which would guide both law enforcers and producers to avoid disruption of production.

They include:

Production shifts: Where possible Manufacturers should organize production shifts such that there is little or no worker movement during the curfew period. Should this be impossible, the manufacturer must ensure that the workers carry proper company identification documents to travel during the mandated curfew period.

Identification of employees: All employees to be issued with staff identification documents (IDs) which cannot be forged. This shall enable easy identification and can be complemented by uniforms (where applicable).

Vehicles identification: To identify vehicles belonging to companies that provide essential services, drivers and turn boys should produce identification cards/letters from their employer. Further mechanisms to identify vehicles traveling during the curfew period are being developed.