Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development Cabinet Secretary Betty Maina has called on Bomet County Development Committee to properly vet scrap metal dealers before issuing operating licenses in order to protect critical Government infrastructure.
Maina said the Government had banned dealing in scrap metal owing to the rampant destruction of key public infrastructure adding that with the lifting of the ban, only traders who have been scrutinized by the development committee would be allowed to operate.
The CS was speaking during a courtesy call on the County Commissioner for Bomet Beverly Opwora where she said the Government, whilst keen on protecting critical infrastructures such as power towers and bridges, was also aware of many genuine traders whose businesses were adversely affected by the ban on scrap metal trade.
She said the committee was to vet all traders to rid the rural trade sub-sector of unscrupulous traders who were known to steal metal parts of public assets and also for issuance of licenses to enable qualified traders to carry on with dealings on recycled metal.
“If we allow uncontrolled trade on scrap metal, we will stand to go back to where we have come from where we found it difficult to protect critical infrastructure,” she said.
The CS urged Bomet County Commissioner Opwora to speed up the ongoing vetting process to enable traders go back to business saying the intention for devolution was to spur economic growth for rural areas through support and development of enterprises.
She urged all stakeholders to adhere to the law in the protection of public infrastructure saying the law enforcement officers stood cautioned against being compromised to let illegal trade on scrap metal continue.
At the same time, Maina called on local political leaders to avoid politicizing the move by multinational tea farms in Kericho and Bomet counties to mechanize tea plucking saying issues regarding the plight of workers laid off owing to the mechanization should be addressed in a properly convened consultative meeting for all stakeholders in the tea sector.
By Kipngeno Korir