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Raila: I never said I will kill mitumba industry in Kenya

Azimio la Umoja – One Kenya Coalition presidential candidate Raila Odinga has moved to clear the air on earlier remarks he made about mitumba business in Kenya.

Speaking during a meeting with mitumba business owners on Friday, Mr Odinga clarified that he did not say that he would do away with mitumba business if elected president on August 9.

“I was speaking about mitumba business with regards to international business. For instance, we have Agoa; Americans have allowed us to sell Kenyan-made clothes on condition we take their old clothes. They’ve made it mandatory, not a request. That is what I was talking about,” Mr Odinga said.

“We cannot do away with mitumba clothes when we have not prepared our manufacturing industries. We said we shall revive our manufacturing industries and that will take time then we start planting cotton, have machines that will manufacture the clothes and the clothes that we are not using we shall be exporting,” he added.

Earlier this month, while launching his manifesto, Mr Odinga caused an online uproar when he said he would eliminate mitumba business.

“Cotton was being grown in large numbers in our country. So many parts of the country use cotton 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,” he said.