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Trade minister revokes monopoly order

Author: Staff Writer | Published: Wednesday, September 18, 2019

The minister of trade, industry and investment has reversed his earlier order, giving exclusive rights to four little known companies to import some trade items.

In a ministerial order issued in June, Paul Mayom Akech granted Crane International Company Limited the right to be the sole importer of alcoholic beverages and cigarettes.

Another company, Naivasha Logistics and Construction Limited, which was given the monopoly to import cement.

City Hides and Skin International Company Limited was awarded exclusive rights to deal in hides and skins.

And Ganyjak General Trading and Company Limited was to be the only company that imports tea leaves.

However, in another decree dated September 16, Paul Mayom says he has cancelled the order.

In the order seen by Eye Radio, Mayom claimed that the purpose was to ease control of counterfeit goods – a role that is actually being played by the National Bureau of Standards.

This had angered some members of the public who felt that Minister Mayom was violating the free market principles – an economic system based on supply and demand with little or no government control.

Besides, little is known about the four companies, causing suspicion among the members of the public.

Generally according to economists, when monopolies are privately owned by for-profit organizations, prices can become significantly higher than in a competitive market.

As a result of higher prices, fewer consumers can afford the good or service, which can be detrimental to the economy of the nation.

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