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Caroline Mutoko gives untold story of Raila's crush who went missing [Video]

Caroline Mutoko reveals for the first time how the girl's disappearance changed the lives of millions of young ladies in Kenya

Caroline Mutoko during an interview with Richard Njau

Radio Africa Group Chief Marketing Officer and media personality Caroline Mutoko gave the untold story behind what inspired Raila Odinga to issue a directive on free sanitary towels for girls in rural areas, back when he was the prime minister.

At the time, Mutoko was championing the provision of free sanitary towels and had tried setting up a meeting with Odinga to ask for his support on the agenda, but the former PM’s busy schedule made it difficult.

The media personality tried using the former prime minister’s aides to get through to him but despite three months of waiting, not much progress had been made to see him.

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A few months later in 2011, as Mutoko was driving home from work, she heard the news bulletin on the radio announce that Odinga had directed the government to provide a budget for free sanitary towels every year.

She was surprised that the ODM leader had issued the directive despite not having briefed him about her social impact program.

When the veteran radio presenter finally got a chance to meet Odinga and ask him how he had thought about supporting her cause, the answer was as sweet as it was surprising.

He said it was his wife Ida, who had served as a teacher for many years who made him understand how lack of sanitary towels affected female students.

Ida had explained to him why a girl Raila had a crush on in primary school, suddenly stopped attending classes after reaching puberty.

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He said years ago when he was in school, there was a girl he really liked in primary school but she disappeared at some point.

"He said years later he once mentioned her to Ida and Ida said she must have started menstruating, that's why she left school,” Mutoko recalled her conversation with Odinga.

The reason that girl probably disappeared from school is that she started menstruating and Raila said he’s never forgotten that,” she added.

In his directive, the former PM described the situation where girls fall off school due to a lack of sanitary towels as disturbing.

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"Something that is very disturbing is the issue of girls having to stay out of school because of lack of sanitary towels. It is something that we promised we will introduce when we came to power," he said at the time.

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