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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 16 November 2014


The joint initiative that was launched six months ago by Luhya leaders to have an investment bank from western region that will be used to fund the 2017 presidential candidate from the region ascend to power has taken a new twist after the business community from the region rejected their name arguing that it segregates other communities.
Luhya leaders led by senators Moses Wetang’ula, Bonnie Khalwale, Amos Wako, governors Kenneth Lusaka, Sospeter Ojaamong, Wycliffe Oparanya and Moses Akaranga had agreed that the name of the bank will be Mulembe Investment Bank and tasked former Standard Bank director   Etemesi to oversee the growth of the bank.
However, Luhya leaders received a rude shock from the business community alliance and the civil society who argued that the brand name segregates other communities from investing in the bank, adding that the name does not have a national outlook.
Speaking to the press after a  meeting in Bungoma hotel,  David Abdi asked the Luhya leaders to look for an alternative name to replace Mulembe Investment Bank since it is not business friendly.
He added that Mulembe community should not use the name as a brand name as a connotation of a community that loves peace saying that other communities will be scared to invest in the bank with the fear of their money getting lost given the fact that it is a financial institution for the Luhya people.
Ongalo told the press that the Luhya leaders did not even consult the electorate and the business community who will fasttrack the growth of the bank saying that before the bank starts its operations, it will be prudent to involve all stakeholders concerned in a bid to ensure there is a smooth running of the bank.
In a rejoinder, Centre for Human Rights chair Philip Wanyonyi told off Luhya leaders to stop coming up with projects aimed at enriching themselves but not the electorate, saying that they formed the bank with the aim of funding their campaigns comes 2017
However, Bungoma governor Kenneth Lusaka who is the secretary of the governor’s caucus from western region said that there was no need for alarm over the name of the bank, arguing that once all plans have been put in place, they will involve all stakeholders concerned before the bank fasttracks its operations.
 Governors from Bungoma, Vihiga, Kakamega and Bungoma counties respectively are supposed to deposit Sh250 million each as starting capital for the Mulembe Investment Bank which will be deposited at the Central Bank of Kenya as security.
Members of parliament, senators and governors from the region will buy shares from the bank at Sh0.1m per share whereas members of the public will part with Sh10,000 per share.

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