Machakos County Govenor Alfred Mutua is talking less and thinking big on Machakos
By Jacob Ngetich | May 26th 2013
By Jacob Ngétich
At 2 O’clock just as he prepared to attend an afternoon video production lecture at Zayed University in United Arab Emirates, Dr Alfred Mutua, Machakos Governor received a call from secretary to former minister of Information and Communication Raphael Tuju.
The secretary told him the minister wanted him to send his Curriculum Vitae (CV) for consideration for the job of the first Government Spokesman in Kenya.
After the call, he went on to discuss with fellow students how they would film a short movie, “And the Desert Smiled”, which he had written.
The film would mirror the beauty and advancement of Dubai and the businesses organisations that have participated in Dubai’s growth.Three months later on a Friday afternoon he received another call still at the university, inviting him for an interview at 8 O’clock the following Monday.
“I arrived at 7.30am and was the only one who arrived before eight, the over ten others arrived late for the interview at the Head of Public Service and Secretary to the Cabinet’s office,” explains Dr Mutua.
“Two months later Tuju’s secretary called again to ask my fax number to send me a copy of the appointment later so that I could consider the Government offer, the rest is what you know,” he adds.
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Dr Mutua, who finished his Doctorate Degree at age 32, says he did not know anyone influential at the former President Mwai Kibaki’s Government at the time and thinks that his work as a journalist and later as a lecturer could have exposed him.
Last week, the Machakos Governor hosted investors through the first Machakos Investor Conference County where he kicked off an ambitious plan of setting up a new Machakos town to spur growth, just like Dubai and its astronomic development.
In the two days’ conference, 3,000 investors from within and outside the country pledged to invest over Sh60 billion on the 4000-acre town with some of the investors ready to invest as soon as possible.
The former Government Spokesman says the plan to create a ‘New Machakos City’ will inject new energy to Machakos and provide opportunity for ultra-modern Central Business District (CBD), a well -thought and coordinated transport system. “We want to have a university and medical zone in the city because we want to have the best learning institutions and referral research hospitals and medical centres that are the best in the continent,” he explains.
Dr Mutua says he wants to turn Machakos into the Premier Investment Zone, not only in Kenya but also in the region by setting up structures to ensure that is achieved.
“We have vowed that in new Machakos, we will facilitate not frustrate business because we want to achieve high financial growth in a short period of time,” he says.
The former slum boy who spent part of his childhood in Makina Kibera slums, before he moved with his parents to a shanty in Riruta Satelight, is not thinking small in the new city and will allocate 50 acres for a film city.
City with stadiums
“We will also have a sports city with stadiums, playgrounds and a track for car racing - yes, we want Formula One to be held right here in Machakos,” he excitedly elaborates.
He adds: “As an incentive to our investors, Machakos County will provide land free of charge, to investors who are ready to start work. To us, land is a resource and all corners of our county have land we can provide for schools, housing estates, factories, hospitals and all forms of investment, huge or small.”
He says what he is doing is a well thought-out plan that he had pledged during the campaigns and that is why everything is falling into place.
“We want to create over 400,000 jobs direct and indirectly within ten years. Food will be in abundance just like Malawi turned wheels around to feed its people,” notes Dr Mutua.
“It is extremely unfair to have children in United States (US) for example feeding well and getting good education while ours are malnourished when all of us was made by one God,” explains the governor.
The Governor recently bought 15 Subaru Outback cars for his county cabinet and for senior county officials.
According to the former Communication Secretary for a decade, nobody can teach him about poverty because he encountered it first time and therefore knows the difference between complaining and handwork.
During his tenure at the Government Spokesman’s office a journalist quoted him as having denied that nobody had died in the heat of the hunger spike that tore through the country in July 2011 and accused him of strongly defending the Government against accusations of neglecting its people especially in famine ravaged areas such as the Northern Kenya and Turkana.
Dr Mutua says he was misquoted in a reckless attempt to sensationalise his comments and sets the record straight that what he said without disputing possible death(s) was that there was no official report of a Kenyan who had died as a result of the hunger.
“Those on the ground had not reported to us that there were deaths that had been occasioned by hunger,” he explained. The author of a motivational book, How To Be Rich in Africa and Other Secrets of Survival has worn many hats, from that of being a journalist, don, government spokesman and politician, Dr Mutua is also an entrepreneur with interests spurning communications to hospitality industries.
Mutua, 42, worked as a journalist both in Kenya and in Australia. He is the owner of Golden Dreams, which publishes the Passion magazine, a monthly publication that targets the young professionals.
The new Always African Television (AATV), a TV station is already on air and will be launched soon.Several movies including Cobra Squad, And the Desert Smile and Beba Beba, among others, are also in his title.
He is currently building a lodge in Taita Taveta County. “The lodge comprises 20 exclusive cabins for high-end-market tourists and a 1.2kilometre runway,” he adds.
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