Traders slapped with one year imprisonment over plastic bags .
NEMA boss says the bags are imported through Uganda porous borders
A Bungoma businessman has been slapped with a one-year suspended sentence for selling plastic bags that were illegally imported from Uganda.
Sammy Mwangi was sentenced by Bungoma senior resident magistrate Gabriel Omondi. Mwangi operates a shop opposite Kibabii University in Kanduyi.
The court forfeited his bail to the state and issued warrants of arrest for six other traders who failed to turn up for the ruling.
The matter is coming up for hearing on July 6.
Bungoma Neman director John Maniafu said that one suspect, John Gitau, did not show up in court. A warrant of arrest was issued for his arrest.
Gitau distributes illegally imported paper bags to the traders. He was arrested by Nema and Bungoma police at the Bungoma Municipal market.
It was the second time he was being arrested.
"The crafty businessman distributes the papers to traders in the morning and collects money in the evening," Maniafu said.
Businesswoman Wangari Kamau who operates a bakery in Mufutu estate on the outskirts of Bungoma CBD was also among those arrested.
"She is a perpetual offender this being her second arrest. She uses papers from Uganda to pack bread and mandazi," Maniafu said.
Two other traders were also arrested.
Authorities have heightened operations to enforce the ban on plastics in the last two weeks.
Maniafu said Nema will ensure the ban on plastic bags is enforced.
"We are trying to cut off the main source for the supply of the plastic bags," he said.
Crafty businessmen have been blamed for exploiting the porous border in Bungoma and Busia counties to bring in the plastics.
The porous border points include Kwa Chupu, Walanga, Chebusienya, Sono in Cheptais ward and Kimaluli, Kaburweti, Namawanga along river Lwakhakha in Bungoma West.
Edited by p.o