A joint executive committee meeting on Saturday approved the formation of South Eastern Economic Bloc (SEKEB) led by Governors Alfred Mutua of Machakos, Kivutha Kibwana of Makueni and Charity Ngilu of Kitui counties.
The respective three county assemblies will go to the assembly where the idea began for scrutiny and deliberation before passing the ambitious economic agreement into law.
The committee meeting featuring all ministers from the counties of Machakos, Kitui and Makueni discussed and charted ways for the rapid and result oriented development of the region.
Speaking during the agreement signing, Machakos governor Alfred Mutua said the occasion marked a historic day in the fight against poverty in Ukambani.
“The signing of the SEKEB agreement provides us the three governors a chance to jointly provide a rapid result based leadership for the great people of Ukambani, ” said Mutua
Mutua said the agreement that specifically details economic empowerment of the region and is anchored on trade, the youth, and public participation among other pillars will need to be passed by respective counties before it becomes law.
The Machakos governor offered a three-acre piece of land for the construction of SEKEB offices in Machakos and urged the other governors to set aside land for erecting offices with a secretariat to handle the economic unity agenda.
He said SEKEB meetings will be rotational quarterly meetings and added there was need to establish infrastructure to support implementation of the ambitious blue print.
Governor Mutua said the region is rich and said they will utilise what it has by exploiting the potential without necessarily depending on funding from the national government.
“We have power in numbers and we will match to other areas in search of partnerships and funding including overseas for our people to have money in their pockets,” said Mutua.
He hinted at the formation of a financial institution in the region that will lent affordably to local investors as a way of empowerment and capacity building of the people.
The economic bloc was first initiated in 2015 and suffered political interference that nearly killed the dream of a united region towards economic empowerment.
It was through the intervention of clergyman Bishop Timothy Ndambuki who in conjunction with selected secretariat worked on a strategy that has seen the successful deliberations leading to yesterday’s agreement signing.
By Joseph Kamolo