NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 14 – Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero has beaten a hasty retreat on the ban he issued on Tuesday for trade in scrap metal in the county.
This follows protests from the Iron and Metal Scrap Association who presented a petition to the Governor on Friday.
An official from Kidero’s office, George Wainaina, who met the traders said the governor did not intend to abolish the trade and that he only wanted measures to curb vandalism.
“We want there to be order so as to remove the vandals who come in the name of scrap metal dealers,” said Wainaina.
“We are fast tracking the Scrap Metal Bill that was issued to Parliament to be passed so that we can have a registration of the legal scrap metal dealers in the industry,” he added.
The association’s spokesman Elijah Githee said “many Kenyans depend on the trade as a means of livelihood and so we can’t afford to have their licenses revoked.”
“The governor and we as an association have agreed to set up a hotline where members of the public can report incidents of vandalism to aid us in penalising the criminals and deter others from engaging in the vice,” he added.
Kidero had on Tuesday decreed that all licenses for scrap metal dealers would be revoked and that his authorities would not issue fresh licenses until a proper audit on the trade is conducted.
“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 licenses of those who have them,” he said.
The governor and we as an association have agreed to set up a hotline where members of the public can report incidents of vandalism
Though he acknowledged that the move would lead to loss of jobs for those in the trade, the governor argued that the move was aimed to benefit the greater number of city residents.
“Nairobi residents cannot continue to suffer because of the selfishness of a few people vandalizing our streets so that we do not have street lightings. The greater good supersedes the individual benefits and we are doing this for the good of Nairobi residents,” he said.