Azimio Presidential candidate Raila Odinga has refuted claims that he wants to shut the mitumba industry.
The ODM leader claims that he was misunderstood and his comments taken out of context.
Earlier he was quoted by media outlets saying, “So many parts of the country use cotton as it is the only available cash crop. Our textile industry was killed through liberalization and then they brought in mitumba it killed all our textile industries. Our people are wearing clothes coming from outside the country that has been used by the dead.”
Speaking at a business forum in Nairobi county on Tuesday, he said the industry cannot be killed as it is creating employment for so many people.
"Mitumba is not a dead-end business and it has created employment for so many of our people. I am defending them and there are people who are bringing propaganda to say that Raila is going to kill the sector. No, that is not the case," he said.
“Cotton was being grown in large numbers in our country,” said Odinga.
This prompted the chairperson of the Mitumba Association Teresia Wairimu, to respond.
She said, "To kill the mitumba trade and promote textile is to give with one hand and take away with the other. We regret that the former PM and the Deputy President have relied on false information about second-hand clothes," Wairimu said.
"We, therefore, seek audience with the two main presidential candidates to fashion them with correct information," she added.
The topic has been trending under the 'mitumba' and 'Gikomba' tag.
Here are some reactions by KOT on the mitumba discussion.
There's an environmental question to this Mitumba business. World over, recycling is the in thing, the attempt to save on energy and conserve the environment. Even when we manufacture locally, we must find a way of doing away with clothes we no longer use.#MitumbaIsBae— Aaron Cheruiyot (@Aaroncheruiyot) June 8, 2022
The Textile industry can't grow if we keep the importation of Mitumba Clothes. It's the truth. Paul Kagame figured that out and banned mitumba despite the threats from the West. AGOA is the problem. Otherwise Mitumba sellers in Gikomba can have their products produced locally.— BRAVIN YURI (@BravinYuri) June 7, 2022