Machakos County Governor Dr. Alfred Mutua says he has signed agreement for two key industrial plants to be set in Machakos County during an international tour criticized by opponents as waste of public funds and time.

Ashok Leyland, an international vehicle manufacturer will set up a bus and truck assembly plant and has committed to open the plant within the next one month, according to a statement issued in Dubai by Dr. Mutua. The plant will become the regional hub for the manufacturer for East and Central Africa.

US $20 Million Investment

The company will invest USD20 million in Machakos in the venture and thus create a variety of jobs directly and indirectly. It will also offer training skills to the youth in the county.

The deal was signed for the company by Bhimasema Rau, Vice President in charge of international sales and exports,  K.M. Mandana, head of international assembly operations and a Mr. C.A Thomas.

Ashok Leyland is an Indian automobile manufacturing company based in Chennai, India. Founded in 1948, it is the second largest commercial vehicle manufacturer in India, fourth largest manufacturer of buses in the world and 16th largest manufacturer of trucks globally.

Joz Group

A deal was also signed with Joz Group of companies for a fruit processing factory to be set up in Machakos County.

The factory will help in the processing of fruits including mangoes, paw paws, oranges, and passion which the  County produces in large quantities.

JOZ Group is described as a “combination of well managed and controlled companies located at various regions and sectors such as Bahrain, Oman, U.A.E., Kenya, Qatar and Uganda.”  It started it’s business  as  Beauty Centre, in Bahrain in 1936.

‘Waste of Public Funds and Time’

Mutua says he is on an investment sourcing tour to various countries to woo investors to set up plants in at least each sub-county to create immediate employment and economic growth as part of the Maendeleo Chap Chap movement’s program.

The tour has however,  been criticized by Governor’s opponents as waste of public funds and time. Similar deals signed in a much publicized Investor Conference in Machakos weeks after he took over as governor have yet to bear fruit.