The Kitui County Textile Centre (KICOTEC) has the capacity to produce quality uniforms for chiefs and their assistants, Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu has reaffirmed.
The factory situated at Syongila market, about 4 kilometres from Kitui town along the Kitui-Nairobi highway is modeled on the Export Processing Zone (EPZ) garment industrial unit, where it will run 24 hours on different working shifts.
Ngilu said 145 electric sewing machines have been installed together with other embroidery and pressing machinery to ensure the fabrics meet the highest quality standards.
Speaking to the press during a tour of the ultra-modern garment production facility, the Governor said her government and the people of Kitui were grateful to President Uhuru Kenyatta for the opportunity to produce the official attire of the national government administrators.
“The President’s recent pronouncement which gives KICOTEC the chance to produce the uniforms for chiefs and their assistants is a great honour to the people of Kitui as it will ensure sustainable employment for our youths and support the growth of our local economy,” she said.
Last week, President Kenyatta announced that the newly opened garment-making facility will henceforth be producing official uniforms for chiefs and assistant chiefs.
He was speaking at Masii Sub-County in Machakos County, during the launch of the ongoing nationwide Huduma Namba registration exercise.
Ngilu said KICOTEC is equipped with state-of-the-art machines capable of producing a variety of quality garment items suitable for various uses, styles and preferences.
“KICOTEC has capacity to produce 5000 units per day, employing the services of over 400 youth from Kitui whom we have trained and developed to work in the facility,” she added.
The facility can produce all manner of garments from trousers, shirts, skirts, blouses, sweaters, T-shirts, security uniforms, track suits, rain-coats, sports kits, bedcovers and pillows as well as jumpers. It also has capacity to provide embroidery, screen-printing and large format printing services.
“We are hopeful that we will be able to secure tender to provide uniforms for national security personnel,” she said.
The Governor reiterated that the facility will help cut the costs of purchasing school uniforms for Kitui residents, adding that over Sh.2.4 billion is spent annually on uniforms for over 480,000 students from the county.
“With KICOTEC we can bring down this cost by eliminating such additional costs as transport while also providing employment opportunities to our youth,” added the Governor.
She said that the facility will enable the county to retain cash in the local economy that is otherwise used to bring in uniforms from other counties.
“Over 90 percent of money used to purchase uniforms has been leaving Kitui for other counties and even outside the Country, since we didn’t have a uniform-making factory here. The fabric, materials and accessories needed for the factory will be sourced locally, thus growing our local distributors,” she said.
By Yobesh Onwong’a