URP nominated senator Emma Mburu has urged Mijikenda women to dress scantily to woo tourists to the coast.
â€œWhen Mijikendas started wearing clothes, tourism slumped, besides the impact of insecurity. Could this be the reason why we attracted tourism?â€
The MP was roundly vilified by local actors protecting young girls in the region who claim her comments amounted to promoting under-age prostitution in the guise of promoting tourism.
Emma’s critics say instead of promoting education for Mijikenda women, her comments were merely to continue the stereotyping of coastal women as sex tourism objects.
Mijikenda communities are the worst hit in sex tourism with wealthy retirees and pensioneers from Europe and Asia nations flocking the coast to enjoy a ‘holiday of cheap sex’.
Mburu later defended herself, claiming she was only starting a discussion. She also lambasted those blaming the jubilee government over dwindling tourism fortunes in the area.
â€œThose are my opinions. I was only asking if the Mijikenda went back (to their culture), would we revive the tourism sector? We must find ways of revamping the sector. I once worked in the hotel sector but was fired when there was a decline in tourist numbers. Let us stop pointing accusing fingers at the Jubilee government,â€ she added.