Light at the end of the tunnel for scrap metal dealers?

Huge Scrap metal site at Eldo Scrap centre in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County. [Peter Ochieng, Standard]

Fifty-four (54) days after President Uhuru Kenyatta issued a moratorium on scrap metal trade, dealers can now see light at the end of the tunnel.

The Standard has learnt of a consultative meeting on the said-moratorium.

The consultative meeting on scrap moratorium today (Wednesday, March 16) is taking place at Harambee House 6th Floor.

In a letter from the Cabinet Secretary for Industrialisation, Trade and Enterprise Development, Betty Maina, the Kenya Association of Manufacturers, Metal Cottage Industries, Kenya Association of Waste Recyclers and Kenya Iron and Scrap Metal Association were invited to a consultative meeting on what needs to be done to lift the moratorium.

“The Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and Enterprise Development has invited Government Stakeholders to review draft Scrap Metal Guidelines,” Maina said in the letter.

“Further, the stakeholders suggested that all scrap metal be vetted before licenses are issued, thereby letters requesting for nomination of officer for a proposed multi-Agency vetting team were forwarded to the Ministries of Energy, Interior and Coordination of National Government and Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure Housing, Urban Development and Public Works.”

“In order to lift the moratorium, agreeable guidelines need to be finalised and approved for implementation,” the letter said in part.

On January 20, 2022, a seemingly furious President Kenyatta, while presiding over a pass-out parade at Kiganjo, Nyeri County, announced a moratorium on scrap metal trade in the country as part of Government’s efforts to end the rising cases of vandalism of key public installations.

The president said the moratorium would stay in place until after the Government puts in place adequate measures to effectively police the sourcing, trade and export of scrap metal.

He further warned that those culpable of vandalism of state infrastructure will be dealt with firmly.

In the meantime, Silver Steel Limited, a firm dealing in scrap metal had challenged the temporary ban by lodging a case in the High Court.

According to the company, dealers in metal were condemned unheard, arguing that since the enactment of Scrap Metal Act in 2015, no rules or guidelines have been implemented.

The firm’s director, Abdul Waheed Khan, argues that Uhuru’s declaration amounts to unfair treatment as some of those in the industry do not deal in vandalised metal.

“The petitioner was surprised to learn about the announcement on digital media platforms and print media. The rationale behind the ban was to curb theft and vandalisation of key public installations which the president said led to economic sabotage of national infrastructure,” said Waheed.

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