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Ruto responds to Raila’s mitumba remarks

Deputy President William Ruto has criticised Azimio la Umoja – One Kenya Coalition presidential candidate Raila Odinga for the controversial remarks he made on Monday about the sale of second-hand clothes in the country.

The DP has also said Kenya Kwanza Alliance’s economic model will assist the growth of such enterprises.

“Bottom-up, using TVET will assist these enterprises grow from sewing, cottage to textile and leather industry. Trickle-down is dangerous. They branded business people’s merchandise counterfeit & destroyed them. Now clothing enterprises are dealers in dead people’s wares to be banned,” Ruto said.

During the launch of the Azimio manifesto on Monday night in Nairobi, Mr Odinga said that if elected president in the August 9 General Election, he would ensure that involved in the importation of second-hand clothes switch to the sale of locally manufactured products.

“Our people are only wearing clothes coming from outside the country already worn by people who are dead… I’m saying that we are not moving anybody out of business. We will ensure that those who are importing mitumba get the first hand to market goods which are going to be manufactured here in this country,” Mr Odinga said.

His comments attracted varied reactions from Kenyans as well as the business people who are involved in the sale of used clothes.

In 2020, traders in this sector were adversely affected by Covid-19 as the importation of products was seized.

The challenge attracted the attention of President Uhuru Kenyatta who came up with plans after engaging with the traders to ensure the safety was granted before resuming the importation.

It was later agreed that all mitumba importers register with the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) and that mitumba products shall be packed in bales that do not exceed 50kg.

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