Kenyans have expressed mixed reactions after President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday January 20, banned the trade-in scrap metal business until a proper regulatory framework is in place.
Mixed reactions after Uhuru banned trade of scrap metal
Those caught in the trade will face treason charges
Whereas steel traders and brokers insisted the move was unnecessary and reactionary, others lauded the move as brave and progressive.
"Steel factories will shut down due to the banning of the scrap metal trade. Billets will take months to come in, especially due to the global supply chain and shipping issues. This guy is a menace to our economy," stated Mihr Thakar.
A billet is a small, semi-processed piece of metal, normally a casting product which needs further processing before becoming finished goods. Billets can be rectangular, circular, or square in shape.
Coming to the defence of the President, another citizen only identified as G. Saruni stated that the ban was necessary because the country has been ravaged by unchecked vandalism.
"Anyone condemning Uhuru's scrap metal move has never driven in areas that have street lights but poles and cables have been vandalised, has not driven through sharp corners to find guard rails missing and most unfortunately find their transformers harvested for copper," he said.
Agreeing with Saruni, one Majimbo A. G. went further to share an image of a vandalised section of Ngong Road.
"The ban on scrap metal is much welcomed. We were becoming reckless with state infrastructure. This is a section of Ngong Rd vandalised," stated Majimbo. Ngong Road is one of Kenya's main highways which was renovated over the last two years.
Rufas Kamau on the other hand, expressed how the ban would severely affect the livelihood of so many Kenyans. Kamau argued that it would have been better if the government had regulated the trade rather than banned it.
"Scrap metal is a business like any other business classified under Urban Mining. Imagine if somebody wakes up and decide you shall no longer do your business? Regulate scrap metal dealers like other countries do," stated Kamau.
The citizens shared their views on Twitter.
More details about Kenya's scrap metal ban
Speaking in Kiganjo, Nyeri county President Kenyatta issued a stern warning against those engaging in the destruction of key installations saying they would face treason charges.
President Kenyatta stated that tough action will be taken against anyone found culpable of vandalism.
"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. It is economic sabotage, and the law is very clear on how such people should be dealt with,” he said.
This directive comes a day after nine employees of Kenya Power PLC were arraigned in Kiambu to answer to charges related to the recent nationwide power outage which saw huge losses and power disruptions across the country.
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