Vice President William Ruto has promised second-hand clothes sellers, known locally as mitumba sellers, a stake in his government.
Speaking in Mandera County on Wednesday, June 8, the DP said he will ensure that mitumba vendors are investors in his government as he is committed to reviving the textile industry.
DP Ruto then promised the locals that he would ensure that they made clothes to the point of locally manufacturing branded clothes that could be sold in the luxury clothing market.
Vice President William Ruto addresses traders in Embakasi East, Nairobi County, Friday, June 3, 2022
“Government of Kenya, through the bottom-up model in partnership with TVET, will help you run your business and we will help you become the investors in the garment industry in Kenya.
“You will also run the textile industry and make designer clothes, no one will kill your business,” Ruto said.
Ruto also promised residents that he would also focus on other economic sectors to help develop the county.
“I sat down with the leadership and all the stakeholders in Mandera County, and we agreed that we need to invest in agriculture and livestock here in Mandera County,” he added.
On Tuesday, Ruto slammed Kenya’s Azimio La Umoja One presidential candidate, Raila Odinga, after his remarks that the import of mitumba garments into the country had killed other sectors of the economy, including manufacturing.
Raila said the mitumba clothes that people wear in Kenya may have been worn by people who died in foreign countries where the clothes originated.
The ODM chief said he would revive the manufacturing sector to enable traders to acquire locally made garments to replace the mitumba.
However, Ruto took the opportunity to accuse Raila of alleging the products were counterfeit – a comment to which Raila responded quickly.
“Runoff is dangerous. They marked the goods of businessmen as counterfeits and destroyed them. Now clothing companies are dealers in goods of deceased persons to be banned. From the bottom up, the use of TVET will help these businesses move from the tailoring, home, textile and leather industry,” Ruto wrote.
Azimio La Umoja presidential candidate Raila Odinga (left) his UDA DP counterpart William Ruto at Uhuru Gardens and Makueni County respectively.
“Tell the guys on the other end that the internet never forgets,” Raila replied, sharing a video of Ruto declaring he would stop importing clothes and furniture into the country.
On June 7, the ODM chief noted that he had been grossly misinterpreted as the trending video had been edited to include the part where he said he would establish a system for traders to sell locally made clothes.