Scrap metal dealers in Nakuru county have asked the Municipal Council to rescind its decision to ban the trade. This follows an operation last week that unearthed a stash of vandalised advertising billboards, street light posts and road signs at the home of a former Mayor.
Speaking in Nakuru over the weekend, chairman of Nakuru county scrap metal dealers association Joseph Wandaka asked Mayor Mohammed Suraw orders the reinstatement of issuing of licenses to scrap metal dealers. Last month, Suraw announced the council had stopped licensing the trade. He blamed them for vandalism and theft of public utilities. He said the council is losing Sh3 million to vandalism monthly.
Last week, two consignments of vandalised metal parts were discovered in the home and business premises of former Mayor and parliamentary aspirant David Gikaria. The councillor has since recorded a statement with CID officers but is yet to be arraigned in court. Wandaka asked why the council was awarding tenders to councillors who have the means to influence decisions at the council.
The dealers have now threatened to hold demonstrations. "The practice of wanton corruption at the counciil has to end because ordinary businesses end up paying the price for their excesses," Wandaka said. Vice chairman Francis Karanja called on the council to increase it's vigilance on the street and enforce the directives of Finance minister Njeru Githae of a Sh1 million fine or three years imprisonment to vandals.
"We have volunteered our intelligence and services to help the council and the police catch up with these dealers but they never seem interested. Now we know they were shielding one of their own," vice chairman Francis Karanja said. It is alleged that the former mayor has been awarded the street lighting tender for Nakuru's slum areas. He would however go back, remove the posts after installation and re-sell them to the council.