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Scrap metal dealers in Embu granted seven-day amnesty

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Scrap metal dealers in Embu County have been granted a seven-day amnesty to surrender any vandalized public infrastructure they may be in possessing.

The decision was arrived at during a consultative meeting between scrap metal dealers, County Security Team led by County Commissioner Jack Obuo, County Government and the Scrap Metal Council on Wednesday.

The move will pave way for fresh vetting and licensing after the County Government a month ago banned sale of scrap metal to contain the rise in cases of vandalism.

While issuing the ban, Governor Cecily Mbarire said the ban shall remain in force until the traders are vetted afresh, noting some of structures that had been vandalized include water meters and pipes, signboards, litter bins and metal fencing posts.

“We have agreed that those in possession of vandalized critical infrastructures will surrender them alongside their registration documents to authorities,” said Kenya Scrap Metal Dealers Chair Francis Mugo.

After that, he said, fresh vetting will be conducted by June 10 so that those who sail through will be allowed back in business.

Pamoja Scrap Metal Association of Kenya (PASAK) Chair Joseph Muraya said new applicants will also be allowed to participate in the exercise.

He said henceforth, they will start doing self-regulation to weed out illegal traders who have soiled their reputation.

County Chief Officer in charge of Investment, Industry and Marketing Maureen Mukami reported that the county losses over five million shillings annually from vandalism of advertising billboards and signage.

She added that in the department of water, all the water companies across the county cumulatively lose around three million shillings every month from stolen meters, gate valves and pipes.

County Commissioner Jack Obuo said they had apprehended several culprits since they commenced crackdown on vandals last year.

“We have seven cases that are active in court in various stages and we will continue with the crackdown to protect public and private infrastructure from vandalism,” he said.

KNA
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