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Illegal exporters of scrap metals put on notice

The Scrap Metal Council has issued a stern warning to scrap metal dealers who export scrap metal illegally through the Lunga Lunga, Malaba and Namanga border points.

The Council Chairman Mr. Francis Mugo said during a consultative meeting with Coast Scrap Metals Dealers Association to find a lasting solution to the vandalism menace that the council has written to the Inspector General of Police to furnish the council with names of dealers engaging in vandalism.

“There are people who have been exporting scrap metal against the law through Lunga Lunga, Busia and Namanga borders,’’ said Mugo, adding that they will be arrested, arraigned in court and their license revoked.

Mugo urged the dealers not to contravene the laws governing the scrap metal sector in the country. He further revealed that they will initiate changes to the Scrap Metal Act, 2015 to bring collectors, dealers and agents into the council regulatory framework.

“The scrap metal business is thriving; in our country, there are 18 millers who use 300MT of scrap metals. It helps improve the environment. The scrap metals are used to produce steel products used in the construction of roads and houses. It’s a vital sector,” Muo said.

“For scrap that cannot be milled in our country, we grant dealers license to export to other countries. When we give them export licenses the country earns foreign exchange. We will soon gazette our inspectors who will work with the police to bring sanity to the sector,” he added.

He urged dealers without valid licenses to apply lest they be apprehended and fined Sh10million or seven years imprisonment. “In Mombasa County, we have 42 scrap metal dealers in our records but we know there are many who are operating without a license,” he added

“We recommend all scrap metal dealers to have a business license and the association to self-regulate. Let them know that it is not good for someone to destroy government infrastructure,” he said.

The Chairman said they are working closely with all the relevant government agencies to end the vandalism of infrastructure.

The meeting with scrap metals dealers was necessitated by vandalism of infrastructure from the Ministries of Energy and Transport.

Chairman of Coast Scrap Metal Dealers Association Dickson Kibuu said the meeting aims to educate dealers on how they can do business without vandalising government infrastructure.

He said the sector suffered when it was closed in 2021 by the government as a result of vandalism of critical infrastructure by unscrupulous businessmen.

By Sadik Hassan

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