Disquiet as nine governors give Lake Victoria bloc forum wide berth
Thursday March 16 2023
Nine governors gave the 14-member Lake Region Economic Region Bloc (LREB) a wide berth raising concerns over the future of the outfit expected to deliberate and approve development projects within the region.
Kisii governor Simba Arati questioned why some governors have been skipping the LREB summit, which is the highest decision-making organ.
Out of the 14 county bosses, only the Kisumu governor and the bloc’s chairman Anyang’ Nyong’o, Bungoma’s Kenneth Lusaka (vice chair), Fernandes Barasa (Kakamega), Ochillo Ayacko (Migori) and Mr Arati attended the opening of the 11th summit held in Migori on Tuesday.
Homa Bay, Vihiga and Bomet counties were represented by their deputy governors while Siaya was represented by Agriculture County Executive Committee Member Sylvester K’Okoth.
The counties that were not represented in the opening meeting hosted at Migori Stadium included Kericho, Nandi, Trans Nzoia and Nyamira.
“I am concerned that some have missed two or three of our meetings. It is important for them to attend because we have been fighting for them and they are going to benefit from our cooperation as a region,” said Mr Arati.
He challenged Prof Nyong’o to send a clear communication to absentee governors to remind them of their role in facilitating the development, management and utilisation of cross-boundary economic resources and infrastructure.
For the second time in a row, Kericho governor Erick Mutai and his Nandi counterpart Stephen Sang were missing after absconding from the 10th Summit in Kisumu last year.
Day one of the Migori meeting was also marked by a low turnout among delegates with empty seats dotting the venue.
Mr Arati who is the chair of the bloc’s health pillar said there was a major milestone for LREB on the horizon following a Cabinet decision to back a deal with the United Kingdom to support six universities that offer health treatment and research in the region estimated at Sh10 billion.