Traders at Gikomba market have expressed their disappointment in Azimio’s presidential candidate Raila Odinga’s remarks of banning importation of second hand clothing commonly referred to as mitumba.
The traders say that the mitumba business has helped them for years and killing it would amount to them losing their livelihoods.
“I have been in the mitumba business for about 30 years and I have been relying on it to settle most of my bills and for the upkeep of my family. I’m against Raila’s remarks since many people rely on this business for survival, I being one of them,” said one trader.
Raila during the launch of his manifesto had stated that he plans to revive textile industries in Kenya and manufacture clothes locally.
On the other hand, Kimeu Musyoka, a trader at the same market mentions that the idea of banning mitumba is not bad but the aftermath will affect over 3 million people who rely on the business.
“I think a lot of people will lose their jobs and the textile industries will not have the capacity to accommodate all these people whose jobs are in question once he bans mitumba,” Kimeu told Ghetto Radio.
He further stated that it is easier to keep mitumba business running with capital as low as Ksh. 2,000 shillings compared to the textile industries which will require a lot of capital to keep operations running.
By Stella Anyango