The Kenya Association of Manufacturers (Kam) has welcomed the move to punish scrap metal dealers found with vandalised items, saying it stem the vice.
Ms Betty Maina, chief executive officer, Kam said those found should face the full force of the law. “Kam is in support of the principle governing the regulation. Vandalism of infrastructure is not only self-defeating with regards to the country’s development but it also affects the efficiency of businesses in carrying out their operations and Kam members in the metal sector are in agreement to this development,” she said.
The announcement comes in the wake of rampant vandalism of infrastructure, costing the economy billions of shillings. It is alleged that some of the scrap metal from the vandalised properties has been finding its way to scrap metal dealers.
In the recent Budget Statement, Finance minster Njeru Githae said scrap metal dealers will face three years imprisonment or a fine of Sh3 million if found trading in scrap metal from vandalised sources
Manufacturers have also expressed their support to the Government’s effort to safeguard the country’s infrastructure. “It is a good initiative and Kam would not oppose any policies that are in the common good of the country and its members. Kam agrees to the rationale behind the measure,” added Maina.
The metal steel industry is considered the backbone of the economy. Kenya has basic metal sector making a variety of downstream products from local and imported steel scrap, steel billets and hot rolled coils.
“The sector as a whole has invested in excess of $101 million (Sh8.4billion) on plant and machinery and employs a combined work force of more than 42,000 people directly and over 70,000 in downstream activities,” observed Maina.
The metal industry sector expects to engage Government in the implementation of the regulation.
“Kam and its metal sector members are engaging government on the implementation of the regulation to come up with an amicable solution to the trade of scrap metal. This will ensure measures are put in place to facilitate business continuity for legitimately sourced scrap metal which is not from sources responsible for vandalism of the country’s infrastructure,” Maina said.
By Macharia Kamau