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Illegal scrap metals dealers put on notice

Scrap metal business has been temporarily banned in Murang’a south following high cases of vandalism of businesses, homes, and critical infrastructure in the area.

Speaking at Thaara Primary School in Kamahuha during the country’s 60th Jamhuri Day celebrations, Murang’a South Deputy County Commissioner Gitonga Murungi termed vandalism as unfortunate and strides backward towards the economic development of the country.

“This has gone on for far too long, and it is unacceptable, and that is why we are taking very drastic action by terming the scrap metal business illegal from today until a thorough vetting of those dealing with scrap metals is done,” he said.

The DCC warned that only people who will be vetted by the sub-county security team will be allowed to continue doing business.

“Through the local administration, we will have to confirm the legitimacy of the scrap metal dealer through the vetting process, whereby we must know where he sources the scrap metals from and where his product is destined,” he added.

“We must be able to regulate the trade, as we cannot continue condoning a situation whereby a few people keep breaking into people’s houses and businesses and vandalising windows and doors for sale at a throw-away price.”

He further lamented that the road signs on the multi-billion Kenol-Marua dual carriage are being vandalised.

“We will make this market unavailable to them for now until we can be able to regulate and weed out the crooks in the scrap metal business,” he noted.

The DCC also urged the public not to hesitate to pass information on the culprits since they are members of society and well known to them.

“They are your children, well known to you, but you choose to turn a blind eye to the evil they are doing, and that is why we have a lot of problems as a society,” he said.

On his part, Kamahuha Member of the County Assembly James Wakabera called on the security personnel to intervene and regulate the scrap metal business since vandalism in the area has gotten out of hand.

“We are trying to develop as a country, but some people are pulling us backward. Someone puts up a building, but another one comes at night and takes off the windows for sale at the scrap metal shop.

A window whose value would not be less than sh. 5000 is sold at just sh. 50, and these proceeds are used to buy miraa or other substances,” added Wakabera.

In January 2022, the government led by then-president Uhuru Kenyatta foisted a ban on exports, selling, buying, and dealings in scrap metal following high cases of vandalism of critical infrastructure, resulting in taxpayers suffering millions of shillings in losses.

The ban that was lifted months later had also been imposed to curb electricity equipment vandalism.

The government sought to regulate and allow only duly registered and licensed scrap metal businesses.

By Florence Kinyua

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