By George Kebaso
Some Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZ-A)officials on Wednesday escaped arrest following an inspection tour by the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) exposing the garment maker as one of the biggest polluters of Nairobi River.
In a dramatic aid by some officials including the police, Moses Kipkemboi, one of the managers at EPZ-A took off in an unmarked double cabin car leaving NEMA officials stranded at the Authority’s compound in Kitengela.
The NEMA board had just completed inspection at the EPZ-A’s dumpsite, and was headed to its sewer line area where they discharge their waste water when Kipkemboi started resisting to accompany the visiting environmental officials before taking off.
The other person identified as Peter Wainaina, the acting CEO of EPZ-A also hoodwinked the NEMA, led them to Mombasa Road, and sped off in the cloth manufacturing parastatal car.
At this point, the NEMA team had no alternative but to drive to another facility within the same area. The Alpharama Limited, a tannery is also suspected not to be discharging their waste water properly.NEMA board gave an order for arrest explaining that the Authority’s top mangers were operating a dumping yard illegally.
Led by board Chairman, John Konchellah and acting Director General, Mamo Boru Mamo, the NEMA officials who raided the facility said the EPZ-A had been notified in January 28, 2019 on the need to close down the yard because it had not complied with the Waste Management Regulations of 2006.
“You were supposed to have complied on February 13, 2019 when you acknowledged receipt of our notice to close the dumping yard. But since then you haven’t done anything. This means that you have refused to comply with the Waste Management Regulations,” Konchellah said.
The board gave them three weeks to decommission the yard, but they appealed for two months arguing that the verbal notice was still too short for them.
Then the board agreed with them, but also asked them to accompany NEMA to Kinane sewer treatment area, but they refused. It’s at this point where they hatched a plan of escaping.
“I cannot accept to be arrested for someone’s shortcoming,” Kipkemboi swore. Before the Authority’s officials disappeared, Kipkemboi had a rough time explaining to the officials, circumstances under which the yard is operating. Kipkemboi said 25,000 are likely to lose their jobs should the facility be closed.