Trade and Industrialization Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria has confirmed his plans to phase out sale of second hand clothes in the country.
According to Mr Kuria, the Mitumba business has been a threat to local manufacturing, hence killing job opportunities.
Speaking during an interview in a local television program, Kuria said he will make Mitumba business non-competitive, while promoting local production.
I will make sure that people are able to buy clothes made in Kenya at cheaper prices. If you now decide to go and buy expensive then that is your democratic right to take that poison (Mitumba) if you want toMoses Kuria
“I will make Mitumba not competitive. I will give people better options. I will make people be able to buy clothes made in Kenya cheaply,” he said.
His sentiments seemed to have been an about turn, given that Mr Kuria was one of the Kenya Kwanza leaders who opposed Azimio Leader Raila Odinga who had made similar proposition ahead of the August general election.
But Kuria has defended his new stand, saying his agenda is to promote the local textile industry.
“If I make Mitumba to have lesser value preposition, and make it less competitive, and Mitumba will die naturally,” he said.
“By the way South Africa has banned importation of second hand clothes, and their industries have shot up. Jobs have been created,” he said.
Kuria claimed that Kenya has the capacity to create five million jobs in the textile industry, as opposed to the current 50, 000 jobs.
To cushion Mitumba traders, Kuria said he will ensure the traders are put into the value chain in the revamped local textile industry.
He said Kenyans sell locally manufactured clothes cheaply in the US, while importing expensive second hand clothes imported from other countries.
“I will make sure that people are able to buy clothes made in Kenya at cheaper prices. If you now decide to go and buy expensive then that is your democratic right to take that poison (Mitumba) if you want to,” he said.