Deputy President William Ruto has continued his engagement with mitumba traders in the county following recent remarks by Azimio la Umoja – One Kenya Coalition candidate Raila Odinga.
On Tuesday, the DP hosted mitumba traders at his Karen residence, where he assured them that his government will introduce legislation that will protect small and medium traders from exploitation.
The presidential candidate reiterated that mitumba trade is not a threat to the textile industry in Kenya and that the two sectors serve different segments of the community.
“My government will establish processes and systems that will see the establishment of textile factories here in Kenya, and also ensure the growth and expansion of the mitumba trade,” Ruto said.
Dr Ruto said if elected president, his government and the Nairobi County government will build modern markets that will have specific areas for second-hand traders.
The DP’s sentiments were echoed by his running mate Rigathi Gachagua, who said mitumba trade had given many Kenyans dignity.
“Before mitumba, many Kenyans at the bottom of the pyramid used to be in rags and near nakedness,” Gachagua said.
ANC party leader Musalia Mudavadi said the government should never take drastic action against any business without consulting the stakeholders.
Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja, who is seeking to become the capital city’s next governor, said frequent fires in Gikomba market are engineered to displace the traders.
Mr Sakaja also pledged to repossess the land in Gikomba that has been illegally taken over by some government agencies.
The senator also asked the DP to declare over 16 acres of Gikomba land public land and gazette it as an open-air market.