Ass. Minister Whose Love For 'Mitumba' Clothes Was Unmatched

Former Foreign Affairs minister, Dr Hezron Manduku, who passed on at Nairobi Hospital on Saturday, August 10, 2019, had a special liking for Mitumba (second-hand) clothes.

Speaking to The Standard in a past interview, the former Nyaribari Masaba MP admitted that he wasn't embarrassed about wearing used, quality clothes.

“The mitumba clothes are of high quality. Nowadays, I don’t walk into a shop to buy new clothes and shoes when I can get very durable ones on the streets,” he stated.

As a matter of fact, he revealed that he wore a mtumba shirt for more than 15 years.

This shirt is still in good condition and I wear it regularly, at times on a weekly basis. In fact, it is one of my favourite shirts. I have worn it for close to 15 years now and I am not about to let go of it,” he disclosed.

The former legislator claimed that he bought the shirt in Mombasa in 2003, for less than Ksh1,000 while on an official visit.

By the time he did the interview, Dr Manduku admitted that he was not ready to let go of his favourite shirt.

I might keep it for the next couple of years. I bought new shirts years later, but most are worn out. But this one is still intact. I have not even changed the collar,” he divulged.

He added that his colleagues who accompanied him also bought mitumba shirts and trousers, though they had stopped wearing them.

On February 26, 2003, nonetheless, Manduku shocked the nation when he stated in parliament that some legislators had turned to Mitumba clothes as they could not afford designer attires.

Members of Parliament are wearing mitumba shirts. They are not buying shirts from the shops, not because they are better, but because they cannot afford to buy new shirts. Imagine what could be the plight of poor mothers in the villages if even MPs cannot afford new clothes,” Manduku retorted.

According to the family, Dr Manduku, 79, passed on after a long illness.