Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu has declared the newly formed South Eastern Kenya economic bloc (SEKEB)as a turning point in the economic liberation of the region 56 years after Kenya’s independence.
Speaking in Machakos during a joint cabinet meeting for the three Ukambani counties of Kitui, Machakos and Makueni, the three governors who were flanked by members of their respective departmental executive committees, signed the SEKEB agreement that will propel the region’s economic prosperity.
“The three counties forming the South Eastern Economic Block (SEKEB) namely Kitui,Machakos and Makueni have signed an agreement that is the legal instrument that formally establishes SEKEB,” said Ngilu.
She said as the region’s governors. they had put their political differences aside for the sake of the region’s unity and embark on a road map for economic liberation of its people.
The Kitui governor who is also a long serving leader in previous national governments decried the poverty in the region that once was praised for industries like the Kenya Meat Commission, East African Portland Cement, farmers cooperatives among others which have since gone under.
She said time is now ripe for the region and its people to get empowered to generate and protect their wealth in efforts to regain and emerge as a powerful economic status.
Ngilu said the three counties will not allow wrangling amongst them but instead they will embrace SEKEB in fighting poverty, suffering and fear which she identified as the greatest enemies of the region.
Governor Ngilu added that the wealth in resources both material and human resources places the region in a promising position to propel the region to be the status of Singapore within a short period of time.
The Kitui governor challenged the 6 million people in the three counties to start producing as opposed to only being consumers.
She attributed the woes in the region to lack of good leadership adding that devolution was the best thing that happened to the country.
“We have everything, we only lacked leadership but that gap has been closed now by SEKEB which jointly unites the region with a similar vision and aspirations,” said Ngilu.
Through SEKEB the governor said its time people in the region engaged in income generating activities, implementation of proper projects to take piped water from “the backs of ourmothers sisters and daughters to their houses.”
She cautioned detractors not to politicize SEKEB arguingit’s the best liberation of the Kamba nation after Kenya’s independence.
“SEKEB is not political. We’ve had enough politics. What value have you added to the region? If you have no substance please stay at home rather than peddle lies to disintegrate the visionary economic endeavour” Ngilu said.
She said SEKEB will remain a legacy for the two outgoing governors in their second and last terms as governors Alfred Mutua and Kivutha Kibwana adding that she is better placed to see SEKEB succeed since she will have more time now and another five years when reelected Kitui governor come 2022.
The Bishop Timothy Ndambuki has been instrumental in unity of the Ukambani region who stands a neutral ground including lending an office space to the economic bloc where the Secretariat operates in the interim.
The choice of a cleric was inspired by his commitment in development which has elevated him to head the ABC church in the South and Eastern Africa region including Kenya.
No governor wanted to claim the chairperson’s role as it would have seemingly sent a wrong signal of superiority and inferiority to others and their electorate
By Joseph Kamolo