Kwale County Commissioner Gideon Oyagi has announced that security personnel will mount a crackdown on the scrap metal business in the region.
Oyagi said the exercise will involve the deployment of special security teams in all trading centres who will work closely with local administrators to apprehend scrap metal dealers who still involve themselves in the illegal business.
Last month, the Head of State declared the scrap metal business illegal after suspected metal dealers vandalized Kenya Power and Lighting Company structure in Embakasi Constituency in Nairobi County.
Speaking to KNA in his office, Oyagi said the crackdown will target areas that have been known to be prone to the scrap metal business. He said it was a mandate of the government to protect special infrastructures for the growth of the country’s economy.
“I want to tell those scrap metal dealers that we are all over and we shall deal with them. The government will do what it can to protect the investments made in Kenya Power and Kenya Railways,” he said.
The CC disclosed that the government has formed a task force composed of KPLC’s officers and the security team to lead an evacuation exercise of residents who invaded areas with critical infrastructures such as power stations, sub-power stations, transmission lines, and network boosters.
He said residents staying close to such critical infrastructures are required to vacate in the next 30 days or else the government will lead the demolition of structures.
“Once the 30 days elapses, we shall force people out of those areas. These people are the ones who tamper with the structures and cause serious problems which affect the economy,” Oyagi said.
The administrator added that the cleaning up team will also bring down trees that were planted along power transmission lines.
The CC disclosed that a special team of security officers shall be deployed to safeguard all centres with critical infrastructure.
“We shall deploy security officers in all areas with critical infrastructure. We don’t want this county to experience the losses that Nairobi County and other parts of the country went through when thugs vandalized a power station,” he said.
Following the recent cases of power outages experienced in the country, Interior Cabinet Secretary, Dr Fred Matiang’i, has acted to protect several systems he termed as critical infrastructure.
In a special gazette notice, the CS recommended the deployment of more government security officers to the stipulated sectors.
The list of the critical infrastructure includes the Telecommunication sector such as mobile communication, infrastructure systems, communication links, cellular network components, Mobile Internet Networks (communication Network links and components), domain and IP management systems, and Data and Information Management systems.
The transport sector includes the Transport Integrated Management Systems (TIMS) from the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), cargo management systems, air navigation systems, railway transport services, power transmission, petroleum transportation storage, and distribution.
In the banking sector, systems supporting revenue management services, Itax system, electronic cargo tracking system, systems supporting the achievement of mandates of Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), systems supporting insurance services, systems supporting banking and saving services were gazette as critical.
To secure users interacting with payment transaction services, Safaricom’s M-Pesa, Airtel Money, Orange Money, Equitel among other systems would be accorded more security services.
The defence sector was not left behind as well as the National Security Services and the public environmental safety services.
Oyagi at the same time warned a group of criminals who have been breaking into business premises and homesteads that their days are numbered.
He said the investigative agencies in the county have picked up the matter and the group shall be apprehended. “We have positioned security officers in plain clothes and they are patrolling the town and its environs and soon we shall dismantle this gang,” he said.
Oyagi warned the youth against drug and substance abuse and violent extremism.
By Raymond Zaka and Hussein Abdullahi