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Raila Odinga’s mitumba statement receives online beating

Azimio Presidential candidate Raila Odinga’s statement on second hand clothing business popularly referred to as Mitumba has created controversy.

During the launch of his manifesto on Monday 6th June, the former prime minister said his government will stimulate local manufacture of garments to give second hand clothes dealers an alternative to mitumba which he said are clothes belonging to dead people.

“Our textile industry was killed through liberalization but then they brought Mitumba, it killed all our sector industries. Our people are only wearing clothes coming from outside the country that have been worn by people who are dead,” said Odinga and promised to revive primary production so that “our people who are importing mitumba can have good products to sell here.”

Related: Pomp as Raila Odinga launces Azimio Manifesto

This statement has however been taken out of context and provided fodder to his opponents who have twisted his statement to mean that he will ban the importation of mitumba and force second hand dealers to buy locally made garments.

Raila’s opponents led by UDA’s online strategist Dennis Itumbi took the battle online with a hash tag dubbed “My Dead People Clothing Challenge” that has been trending for the second day running.. “The Mitumba Industry in a simple Graphics QUICK MITUMBA NUMBERS:- 1. Mitumba employs 2M Kenyans. 2. Mitumba pays Sh. 18 Billion in taxes. 3. 91.5% of Kenyan Households buy Second Hand Clothes. Proudly lying on my bedsheets which are part of the #MyDeadPeopleClothingChallenge” tweeted Itumbi.

Bales of Mitumba Imports

Another Kenyan Dan Nyagah @dan_nyagahsays “My sister sold those Dead people clothes for 3 years in Gikomba and as we speak today, she own two apartments in Kahawa sukari. Raila Odinga , the LORD of POVERTY knows nothing about our economy. #MyDeadPeopleClothingChallenge

“Mitumba ni nguo za wazungu wenye wamekufa. We have been inheriting curses for so long it’s about time we dressed in our own first hand manufactured clothes. Bring back Rivatex and KICOMI .Rwanda is far much ahead with a quarter of our GDP. UKWELI! #MyDeadPeopleClothingChallenge” Says Karen Wanjiku HSC @WanjikuHSC

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