Trade, Industry and Cooperatives Secretary Peter Munya has ordered a probe into and removal of a private petrol station recently opened at Athi River Processing Zone (EPZA).
The multimillion shilling investment has been operating since late 2018 on Namanga Road, a mile to Kitengela town, on three acres.
During Mr Munya’s official tour of EPZ on Tuesday, the minister put the EPZ management on the spot for irregularly allocating land to an investor to put up a private petrol station against the law.
Mr Munya said EPZ is a restricted area meant for local and international companies dealing with export products.
‘’Export processing zones are restricted areas with well stipulated rules and regulations of operation. It is illegal for a private petrol station to be allowed to operate on this land. Someone must be taking advantage of government incentives extended to EPZ companies to enrich himself,’’ he said.
The EPZA management had a hard time explaining how they licensed the construction.
The boardroom meeting became stormy, forcing the CS to order a probe. Mr Munya directed the matter to be concluded and the petrol station removed, cautioning government officers against violating government laws and regulations.
“I direct the board to ensure the irregularity has been corrected forthwith. There are dozen companies willing to use EPZ land to boost our economy through exports. Those DCI investigations will find culpable ought to be prosecuted,” said Mr Munya.
EPZ board chairman Paul Gicheru said the alleged fraud was orchestrated by the previous management.
Mr Gicheru said the matter has been taken over by directorate of criminal investigations and the board has fired senior officers suspected to be involved.
He said in an attempt to recover the encroached land they have disconnected water and sewer line to the station. “
We inherited scams orchestrated by our predecessors. They had run down EPZ leaving myriad challenges including irregular allocation of land,” he said.