Kenya bans scrap metal trade as vandalism rises

Kenya bans scrap metal trade as vandalism rises

The move comes after a nationwide power outage Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has banned the sale of scrap metal in the country.

The immediate ban comes amid an effort to end what the government says are "rising cases of vandalism of key public installations".

It will be in force until the government puts in place a framework to regulate the sourcing, trade and export of scrap metal.

Kenya was last week plunged into a national blackout, its worst in recent years, with initial findings linking it to vandalism of high-voltage lines in the capital Nairobi.

Nine senior managers of the state electricity distributor Kenya Power and Lighting Company have been arrested and arraigned in connection with the power outage.

Kenya has been witnessing increased vandalism of key infrastructure, including railway tracks, communication masts and electricity transmission lines.

Mr Kenyatta says destruction of key infrastructure is a treasonable act as it amounts to economic sabotage.

It is not the first time the president has issued a warning on the matter.

While launching the new standard gauge railway in 2017, Mr Kenyatta said he would approve the execution of anyone sentenced to death for destroying the multibillion-dollar infrastructure project funded from Chinese loans.

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