Citizen TV presenter Linus Kaikai could not hide his disdain for President Uhuru Kenyatta's directive to civil servants to wear made-in-Kenya outfits to work on Fridays and during public holidays.
On Thursday night, October 24, the director of strategy and innovation wondered how such a directive would propel the Big 4 Agenda.
Solicitor General Kennedy Ogeto, on Thursday, October 17, issued the directive stating that it was part of a plan meant to boost President Kenyatta's legacy on manufacturing.
"I don't know what to make of the civil servants to wear made-in-Kenya attire [sic]. How is the order to civil servants supposed to spur the growth of the textile industry in a country of over 40 million people, while civil servants count for less than a million people?" Kaikai wondered.
The presenter then poked holes into the directive, comparing Kenya to other countries which focused on their textile industries with real policies rather than government circulars.
"Countries like Bangladesh, Sri-lanka, Vietnam and Mauritius climbed up the industrialisation ladder through a meticulous textile and clothing industry plan.
"They have become middle-income economies not by selling one a week attires to their civil servants but by positioning their textile industries product for export," he argued.
What astounded him most was the disparity between raw material for the apparel industries and the other crumbled textile industries in Kenya.
"Kenyatta revived Rivatex but I doubt if it is enough to kick our textile industry back to life. Is it possible for KICOMI in Kisumu, Textile industries in Thika and Eldoret to roar back to life as well?
"And how can they when cotton, the raw material Kenya once took pride in, is no more? What are incentives for farmers to go back to farming and investors streaming in back to Kenya?" Kaikai questioned.
During the Sunday, October 20 Mashujaa Day celebrations, Kenyatta, DP William Ruto and Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho adhered to the directive by wearing locally made attire. However, Kaikai found it difficult to believe that the directive was enough to uplift the lives of Kenyans.
"Let there be no doubt, textile and clothing industries have spurred growth and created economic giants worldwide, not because of impulsive orders and circulars, but because of detailed, well thought of circulars and strategies," he opined.
Video courtesy of Citizen TV.
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