MPs: Uhuru plus transportation, food and other basics. was misled on scrap ban
President Uhuru Kenyatta was misled into issuing a directive banning export of scrap metal, a parliamentary committee said yesterday.
The MPs accused the Industrialisation, Trade and Enterprise Development Cabinet Secretary Betty Maina and Attorney General Kihara Kariuki of failing to play their role of appropriately advising the President on legislation matters.
Industrialisation PS Kirimi Kaberia, who appeared before the National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) yesterday, was asked to explain why the ministry didn’t inform the President a law banning export of scrap metal exists.
Rate of vandalism Last month Uhuru banned any export of scrap metal until a proper regulatory framework is put in place.
The order was in response to increased vandalism of public infrastructure and installations. But yesterday, Garissa Township MP Aden Duale said the Scrap Metal Act adequately regulates trade in the commodity.
“The President recently said that he had stopped any dealings in the scrap metal, including exports, yet there is a law that was passed by this House to regulate the sector,” Duale said.
He said Maina and Kaberia failed in their mandates and should be replaced. Kaberia did not respond to the issues raised by MPs but promised to look into them.
“Please go and tell your CS, Betty Maina, to read the law. Also tell her that her office embarrassed the President,” said Duale, adding that the Attorney General had also failed the President. The committee, which is chaired by Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi, asked the PS to report back to MPs with a comprehensive statement on the matter.
The Scrap Metal Act, which was passed in 2015, seeks to regulate the handling and export of scrap metal, the registration and licensing of all scrap metal dealers and the establishment of a Scrap Metal Council to streamline the management of the sector.
The Act makes it illegal to export scrap metal, with a provision that the Cabinet Secretary in charge of Industrialisation can only allow export where the material is not in demand by local industries.
Failure to implement the law has been cited for the rise in cases of theft of public assets like machinery, utility infrastructure, power cables, manhole covers, signage structures and power transformers.