DP Ruto, Raila Odinga clash over mitumba remarks
Deputy President William Ruto and Azimio la Umoja One Kenya presidential candidate Raila Odinga have locked horns over each other’s comments on imported second-hand clothing, popularly known as ‘mitumba’.
Odinga on Monday, during his manifesto launch at the Nyayo Stadium, claimed that the country's textile industry was not realising its full potential owing to an influx in mitumba.
In a Twitter post on Tuesday, DP Ruto downplayed Odinga's manifesto insinuating that the former premier's vision for the country's textile industry will negatively affect the second-hand clothing business.
According to the Kenya Bureau of Statistics (KEBS), Kenya imported 184,555 tonnes of second-hand clothing valued at Ksh. 17.8 billion in 2019.
The mitumba industry, KEBS also said, has also been the breadbasket for about 2 million Kenyans.
"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. BOTTOM UP, using TVET will assist these enterprises grow from sewing, cottage to textile & leather industry," said DP Ruto.
In response to the DP's utterances, Odinga posted a video capturing him at a past political rally in which he likewise stated that should he clinch the presidency, his government will ban importation of mitumba and endorse the roll out of locally manufactured products.
"Mambo ya viti tunaagiza, nguo tunaagiza, viatu tunaagiza; tutasimamisha ndio hiyo nguo na viatu na all wooden products zitengenezwe nchini ili tuweze kuondoa umaskini na kuajirii vijana wetu wote," Ruto says in the video.
Raila in his tweet, reminded DP Ruto that his words had come back to bite him intimating that the country’s second-in-command was likely using his (Odinga's) remarks on mitumba for political mileage.
"Ambieni wale majamaa the internet never forgets," tweeted Odinga.
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