Ban on scrap metals lifted with harsh penalties.

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The government has abolished the two-month-old scrap metal trading prohibition.

While removing the restriction, Industrialization Cabinet Secretary Betty Maina stressed that all dealers must be verified at the county level.

The government says only licensed dealers will be permitted to operate when the prohibition is lifted on May 1.

According to CS Maina, anybody found purchasing or selling scrap metal without authorization faces a fine of up to Ksh20 million.

Increasing vandalism of electricity wires and a stretch of the Standard Gauge railway prompted President Uhuru Kenyatta to declare a ban on the scrap metal sector.

To punish those who vandalize natural infrastructure, he directed that treason charges be filed against anyone apprehended. The projects cost billions and the trade motivated the criminality, Uhuru noted.

President Uhuru Kenyatta was asked to remove the ban by scrap metal dealers on April 5, who indicated that they had suffered losses amounting to hundreds of millions of shillings.

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