•Mwingi Resource Centre will be converted to a garment factory
•Proposed centres will be an expansion of Kitui County Textile Centre (Kicotec)
The Kitui county government plans to erect two more garment making plants in Mwingi and Mutomo.
Deputy Governor Wathe Nzau said the branch at Mwingi will move quickly from the next financial year.
“Mwingi Resource Centre will be converted to a garment factory with some modifications,”he said said.
The proposed plants will be an expansion of Kitui County Textile Centre (Kicotec) initiated by Governor Charity Ngilu a year ago.
The idea of a garments factory came about when Ngilu visited India to market green grams.
She had an opportunity to tour Brandix Apparel City and found designer brands being made for export to Europe and America.
“I took the courage to set up an ultra-modern factory in Kitui in April 2018 and procured sewing machines at the same time,” Ngilu said in an interview last year.
Some 320 youths from all the 40 wards of Kitui were identified and trained on making export quality garments.
The county government believes the factory will reduce the cost of garments especially uniforms and ensure that students stay in school and parents retain money to put for other needs.
“A whopping 90 per cent of the county’s expenditure on uniform goes to neighbouring Thika, Nairobi and Kiambu counties,” the governor said.
At first, the factory received a lot of resistance from various leaders. But Kicotec got a major boost when President Uhuru Kenyatta directed that uniforms for government officers be manufactured at the centre.
On November 8, Kicotec released the second batch of chiefs' uniforms tendered in April as per President Kenyatta’s directive.
Speaking at the event, Nzau said the factory would continue producing quality garments to match world’s competitive market.