President Uhuru Kenyatta has banned the sale of scrap metals in the country amid a surge in cases of vandalism.
Speaking at the National Police College in Nyeri during a passing out parade, President Kenyatta said the government has halted any exports or dealings in scrap metal until proper guidelines are put in place to regulate the sector.
“As of today, we will no longer allow, and we have put a moratorium on the export or the buying or selling of any scrap material until we have put in place proper guidelines that will ensure that material is not coming from the hard-won investments that the Kenyan people have made,” Uhuru said on Thursday.
Describing vandalism of state resources as economic sabotage, the Head of State stated that anyone found culpable will face the full force of the law.
“We will not allow you to destroy that which is for the growth and development of our country to benefit a few individuals’ pockets. That we will not allow. That is economic sabotage, and the law is very clear on how such people should be dealt with,” he said.
Several cases of vandalism have been reported in the recent past affecting Kenya Power towers and the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).
Last week, Nairobi and neighboring counties experienced a blackout that lasted for two days resulting in huge financial losses due to economic interruptions.
The management of the state parastatal said the outage on its grid happened after towers supporting a high-voltage power line linking Nairobi to the Kiambere hydroelectric dam collapsed at 10:45am on Tuesday, January 11.
“Our engineers are working to restore electricity supply as the repairs are being undertaken. An update on the restoration progress will be issued in due cause,” Kenya Power said last week.
In November last year, two suspects were arrested after allegedly vandalising railway gauge blocks in Mtito Andei derailing SGR train for hours.
The Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti said the suspects, Michael Mbevi and Nicodemus Kyove, would face economic sabotage and terrorism-related charges.