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Raila's remarks on Mitumba spark uproar among Kenyans

Raila's manifesto on the mitumba industry has launched a debate on social media, he referred to mitumba as 'clothes that were worn by dead people'

Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Alliance presidential candidate Raila Odinga launched his manifesto in a ceremony held at Nyayo Stadium.

Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Alliance presidential candidate Raila Odinga launched his manifesto in a ceremony held at Nyayo Stadium on Monday evening.

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Among one of his priorities, Odinga said, was to expand the capacity of the country to manufacture clothing and cut down on the importation of mitumba.

"Mitumba killed all our sectoral industry. Our people are only wearing clothes coming from outside the country which have been worn by people who are dead.

"We are going to primary production so that our people who are importing mitumba can have good products to sell here. I am saying we are not moving anybody out of business, we will ensure that those who are importing mitumba get the first hand to market goods which are going to be manufactured here in this country," Raila said.

The remarks have triggered a debate on social media with Kenyans arguing for and against the importation of mitumba.

Those who criticised the former prime minister argued that the mitumba industry employs millions of Kenyans and contributes billions in taxes to the government.

Allies of Deputy President William Ruto accused Odinga of not protecting the interests and livelihoods of mitumba traders.

However, those who supported the Azimio presidential candidate argued that expanding local industries had more potential for revenue.

They also resurfaced a video of DP Ruto saying that his government would also prioritise local manufacturers over mitumba imports.

We import furniture, clothes, shoes but we will put a stop to that in order to manufacture them here in Kenya, which will provide employment to our youth,” Ruto said in a past campaign rally.

While unveiling his manifesto, Odinga also said his government would immediately come up with a blue print that will lower the cost of living.

The Azimio leader added that his administration would waive regulatory and other licensing fees for youth-led innovations as it seeks to promote the buy Kenya build Kenya campaign which would, in turn, create jobs.

He also promised that the government would offer free education from ECDE to universities adding that his government would absorb all trained graduate teachers that are unemployed.

  1. Achievement of double-digit economic growth rate
  2. Using manufacturing as the engine for wealth creation and employment
  3. Growing and supporting the MSME including JuaKali sectors 
  4. Creating an enabling environment for smart agriculture, for improved livestock farming and for growth of the blue economy
  5. Mainstreaming ICT towards a digital economy
  6. Improving the investment climate by making it attractive to all investors including Kenyans, the diaspora and foreigners
  7. Pursuit of a policy of zero tolerance to corruption
  8. Commitment to addressing the cost of living and raising standards of living of Kenyans in both rural and urban areas
  9. Inua jamii-pesa mfukoni, baba care, kazi kwa wote, and uchumi kwa akina mama
  10. Free education
  11. Universal quality healthcare for all
  12. Food security and nutrition for all
  13. Making every Kenyan feel secure and safe at home, in communities, rural areas, towns and cities
  14. Provision of sports and recreation facilities for emotional, physical, mental, social, moral growth and development of people
  15. Creating an enabling environment that fosters respect for faiths, cultures and communities
  16. Developing a comprehensive foreign policy that would promote Kenya’s political and economic interests abroad
  17. Promoting good labour relations and free media as key elements of democratic governance.

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