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Kiambu transport firm banned from harvesting sand

By Antony Gitonga | Published Mon, November 14th 2016 at 00:00, Updated November 13th 2016 at 23:41 GMT +3
Enforcement officers from the Nakuru county government clamp a lorry belonging to Bumasutra Transporters Company for failing to pay sand extraction charges in Mai Mahiu, Naivasha. The company based in Kiambu County has been banned from harvesting sand in Mai Mahiu. (PHOTO: ANTONY GITONGA/ STANDARD)

A company based in Kiambu County has been banned from harvesting sand in Mai Mahiu.

Through the county's finance committee, Bumasutra Transporters was banned for refusing to pay gazetted sand harvesting levies.

The ban came as it emerged that the county had lost an estimated Sh14 million in the last two weeks following a row over the payment of sand-harvesting levies.

The sand transporters obtained a court order two weeks ago barring the county from collecting levies from them.

In response, the county government last week amended its by-laws and introduced extraction charges targeting sand harvesting in the region.

According to the chairman of the finance committee, Njuguna wa Gichamu, the court order had been overtaken by events.

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"We shall not allow this one company to harvest sand from Mai Mahiu again and we shall make sure that they pay all outstanding debts," he said.

The chairman was speaking after visiting the Mai Mahiu cess collection point with members of the committee. He said daily collection from the cess point had dropped from Sh0.5 million per day to Sh50,000 due to the ongoing row.

Mai Mahiu MCA Stephen Ng'ethe accused the transport company of arm-twisting, saying public participation was conducted before the new sand charges were introduced.

"This is an open and free market and if the Kiambu traders feel oppressed then they are free to go to other counties and do business with them," said Mr Ng'ethe.

He alleged that the company had contracted another company to load sand mechanically, which locked out scores of youths.

Last Thursday, scores of  trucks belonging to the company blocked the Mai Mahiu road for more than five hours in protest against the new levies.

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