DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION

Lower Eastern governors to fast-track regional bloc

Charity Ngilu, Kivutha Kibwana and Alfred Mutua to use meeting to evaluate gains

In Summary
  • The three governors from lower Eastern will meet next month in Machakos
  • Mutua says regional blocs better placed to lobby international investors, national government for projects
Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua
MEETING: Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua
Image: FILE

Regional economic blocs are the way to go for counties to reap maximum benefits for their people, Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua has said.

Speaking in his office on Wednesday, the county boss noted that with the establishment of regional blocs that bring several counties together, it will be much easier to have seamless cross-border trade and attract investors.

The three governors from lower Eastern will meet next month in Machakos to fast-track  the South Eastern Economic Block (Sekeb).

Charity Ngilu (Kitui), Kivutha Kibwana (Makueni) and Mutua are expected to use the meeting to evaluate the gains attained since they mooted the economic bloc on November 16, 2018.

“We urge Kenyans to evaluate the possibility of regional blocs, along the current economic blocs like our South Eastern Kenya Economic Bloc that will coordinate programs across cutting the different counties in one region," the governor said.

"Regional entities are better placed to lobby international investors, the national government for more projects into the region and revive stalled programs crosscutting the counties.”

The governor said his party Maendeleo Chap Chap supports an all-inclusive government that will incorporate a president, his deputy, a prime minister and  two deputies as proposed in the Building Bridges Initiative report.

 

Mutua nevertheless stressed that BBI should never be a partisan discussion agenda  but one that will eventually transform the economic gains of millions of Kenyans who are currently barely making it due to harsh economic conditions.

“We want the BBI to factor in an economic plan that will ensure that our people from all corners of the country have money in their pockets. We want development to trickle down to the villages regardless of which government is in power,” Mutua said.

He has already announced his intention to vie in the 2022 presidential contest.

The county boss has on numerous occasions urged both local and international investors to take advantage of the existing business opportunities in the county by setting up factories and production plants in the area.

Brava foods, Safaricom, Suda Industrial Park, Signature Mall and Gateway are some of the multi-million business ventures currently operating in the area.

He singled out Machakos as one of the most ideal places to do business in the country as proven by its Sh150 billion worth of investments.

The proposal to launch Sekeb was mooted in 2018 after Mutua, Ngilu and Kibwana made a joint declaration to form an economic block in order to attract funding for projects in the three counties.

Mutua said last week that leaders from the three counties are committed to the eradication of poverty in the region through empowering the residents in ways that can improve their lives.