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Raila says mitumba clothes ‘used by the dead’, KOT reacts

Raila Odinga has caused an uproar on social media by suggesting mitumba (second-hand) clothes are those that have been used by dead people.

Odinga, who is contesting to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta ahead of the August 2022 polls, spoke during the unveiling of his manifesto.

He also pledged to revive the growth of cotton in the country.

“Cotton was being grown in large numbers in our country,” said Odinga.

“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.”

These comments have elicited mixed reactions.

One user linked the comments to the frequent fires witnessed at Gikomba market in Nairobi.

Gikomba is the biggest market in Nairobi.

Abel Mutai, a prominent blogger, supported Odinga’s stance.

Former Law Society of Kenya president Nelson Havi suggested the livelihoods of Gikomba traders will be affected

Another echoed Raila’s words saying mitumba clothes were a havoc to the textile industry.

Another one felt Raila had lost touch with reality as mitumba employs many Kenyans.

Another user felt that mitumba was the reason for the failed textile industry.

Another one questioned whether Raila knew the number of people whose livelihood was on mitumba.

Another user asked if the Sh6,000 Raila is promising to give would afford to buy clothes from high-end stores.

Another one felt his comment on mitumba has caused a shift on his votes come August 9th.

Another user felt Raila’s speech did not touch on what was actually ailing Kenyans.