AU Special Envoy, Raila Odinga, convened an emergency meeting at his Capitol Hill Offices, in Nairobi, where he was briefed on the Kisumu Special Economic Zone (SEZ) projects, on Thursday.
The meeting followed President Uhuru Kenyatta’s decision to cancel the launch of the Kisumu Port on the same day.
According to the Daily Nation, the cancellation was due to a clash in schedules pertaining to the five East African Presidents, who were set to grace the event.
On the other hand, the Standard cited a looming demonstration by a number of residents against the ongoing demolition of nearly 3,000 small businesses in the area, as the reason for the postponement.
Raila was thus briefed by Trade Cabinet Secretary, Peter Munya and Kisumu Governor, Anyang’ Nyong’o, on the setting up of the Special Economic Zone in Kisumu, the revival of cotton company KICOMI and the progress of other related projects in the region.
“Raila expressed his satisfaction with the progress towards setting up the SEZ, including the acquisition of more land and efforts to rope in some of the existing industries to be part of the special zone.
“He similarly appreciated work on the revival of Kisumu Cotton Mills (KICOMI), including work undertaken to assess its current state and possible sources for funding,” Dennis Onyango, Raila’s Personal Assistant stated, posted on ODM’s Facebook page.
According to Dennis Onyango, Raila urged Munya to fast-track both projects in close collaboration with the county government and local institutions of higher learning.
The AU envoy further called on Munya to factor in agricultural activities, in addition to industries, when setting up the SEZ and the revival of KICOMI.
Munya and Nyong’o were accompanied by the CEO of the Special Economic Zones Authority, Dr. Meshack Kimeu, and the acting CEO of the Export Processing Zones Authority, George Makateto.