• Noreb has been in operation for 10 years but could not undertake any tangible activities due to lack ofalegal framework.
• The office of the auditor general has every year been questioning expenditures by the counties on NOREB activities terming the outfit as illegal.
Eight county assemblies in North Rift will debate and possibly ratify the Noreb Bill that will formally and legally create the North Rift Economic Bloc.
The Bill will implement the economic bloc that brings together Turkana, West Pokot, Trans Nzoia, Elgeyo Marakwet, Samburu, Baringo, Uasin Gishu and Nandi counties.
Elgeyo Marakwet assembly speaker Philemon Sabulei said on Tuesday the Bill provides the legal framework under which Noreb will operate.
“We have agreed as all stakeholders within the region how we want to move together but we cannot do so without a proper legal framework, which is very necessary for all undertakings,” Sabulei said.
Noreb has been in operation for 10 years but could not undertake any tangible activities due to lack of the legal framework.
The office of the Auditor General every year has been questioning expenditures by the counties on Noreb activities, terming the outfit illegal.
Last week, the region's governors held a summit meeting in Eldoret where they signed a corporation agreement and the Noreb Bill.
It has now been taken to all the county assemblies to legalise Noreb operations.
Nandi Governor Stephen Sang, who is also Noreb chairman, said the bloc had not undertaken any meaningful activities because of lack a legal framework.
"Now that we have signed the corporation accord and the Noreb Bill, we will be more vibrant as we seek to jointly improve the economy of our region," Sang said.
Sabulei said they would process the Noreb Bill as soon as possible to enable the economic bloc to operate smoothly.
The governors have planned a peace summit to discuss the ongoing security operation against banditry in the region. They will host the peace summit in Trans Nzoia on June 8 and 9.
Sang said the peace summit will complement the ongoing KDF-backed security operation in five counties declared as disturbed.
"We have agreed the peace summit will bring on board all stakeholders, including religious leaders, so we agree on long-lasting peace in the region," Sang said.
He said the ongoing security operation had achieved great success and the peace summit would come up with further measures to strengthen peace and unity.
Sang said they had been keenly following the security operation in the five North Rift counties classified as disturbed since March 2023 so they can take a complementary approach.
“The peace summit we have planned is aimed at convening political leaders, community leaders and development actors to develop and agree on a common approach ensuring long-term peace," Sang said.
The governors said they had spoken to partners, including religious organisations. The peace summit is expected to come up with a raft of ideas providing localised intervention in security issues and working for sustainable peace.
(Edited by V. Graham)