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Kenyan mission to curb metal scrap ‘vandalism’

Kenya – Governor Evans Kidero, representing Kenya’s Nairobi County, has retracted last week’s ban on scrap metal trading in the area following protests from the nation’s Iron and Metal Scrap Association (KIMSA), which handed him a petition on Friday.

‘With immediate effect, we will not be issuing licenses to those people who are suspected to be involved in the illegal trade of scrap metal and we are going to withdraw the annual licences of those who have them,’ Kidero had declared just last Tuesday. No fresh licences would be issued until a ‘proper audit’ on the trade had been completed, he had also stated.

However, these measures caused a stir at both regional and national level. ‘Many Kenyans depend on the trade as a means of livelihood and so we can’t afford to have their licenses revoked,’ argued KIMSA spokesman Elijah Githee.

‘We want there to be order so as to remove the vandals who come in the name of scrap metal dealers,’ Kidero’s official, George Wainaina, had explained. On behalf of the governor, he met with traders in an attempt to convince them Kidero did not intend to abolish the trade but ‘only wanted measures to curb vandalism’.

Scrap hotline

According to Wainaina, the Kidero office is currently ‘fast-tracking’ the Scrap Metal Bill so that the capital ‘can have a registration of the legal scrap metal dealers in the industry’. In the meantime, a special hotline will be established for members of the public to report incidents of vandalism.

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