Moses Kuria now backs Raila Odinga on Mitumba ban
Trade Cabinet Secretary (CS) Moses Kuria now says the government is ready to ban the sale and use of second-hand clothes, commonly referred to locally as Mitumba.
Mr Kuria said the notion that mitumba clothes are cheap is misguided, pointing out that Kenya exports clothes to the USA at a cheaper price than Mitumba.
He said: “I will work with the textile industry to ensure we make cheaper clothes available in this market, and then we will ban Mitumba when we give people an alternative,” Mr Kuria stated.
Kuria’s latest sentiments are a complete turnaround compared to a few months back when he criticized Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga who had suggested he will ban mitumba.
While unveiling his manifesto ahead of the August 2022 polls, Mr Odinga remarked that mitumba clothes worn by Kenyans could, in fact, have been worn by the deceased in Europe and USA.
“We are going to go to primary production so that our people who are importing mitumba can have good products to sell here,” added Mr Odinga.
Mr Odinga said he will seek to promote the local fabric industry by giving mitumba importers first priority in marketing locally manufactured clothes.
However, Mr Odinga’s sentiment was criticized by Mr Kuria and other Kenya Kwanza leaders.
Kuria even stormed the Gikomba market in Nairobi and bought mitumba calls in a supposed show of solidarity.
Mitumba business entails selling importing second-hand clothes mainly from Europe and the USA and selling them locally. It employs tens of thousands of people countrywide.