Uhuru bans scrap metal trade, orders treason charges against infrastructure vandals

Kiambere -Embakasi high-voltage transmission powerline that fell on January 11, 2021, causing power outage. [File, Standard]

President Uhuru Kenyatta has directed police to arrest and press treason charges against anyone found vandalising infrastructure.

While addressing 300 police cadet graduands at the Kenya Police Training College in Kiganjo, President Kenyatta also banned, with immediate effect, trade on scrap metal, directing that anyone found vandalising national infrastructure will be deemed to have committed economic sabotage, which is a treasonable offence. 

“We have seen towers of our transmission lines coming down as a result of vandalism. But we have also seen cases (like was in Naivasha) where people have intentionally vandalised some of our transmission lines and masts.”

“These are acts of nothing less than economic sabotage which is a treasonable act and the law is very clear as to how you deal with individuals who commit treasonable acts and plunge the country into chaos for their own selfish needs.

“As such, we expect you (Police) to do your duty and to execute your function as the law dictates,” ordered the President.

President Uhuru Kenyatta during the pass out parade in Kiganjo, Nyeri County. [Courtesy]

Anyone charged with treason is liable for life imprisonment without the option of an appeal.

At the same time, President Kenyatta said that the government will be working on guidelines to regulate the scrap metal business, adding that until that is done, there will be no buying or selling of the scrap in the country.

“As of today, we have put a moratorium on any scrap material until we have put in place proper guidelines that will ensure that that material is not coming from the investment that the Kenyan people have made.”

To strengthen the police service, President Kenyatta said the government will soon open a National Police Leadership College that will handle new cadets.

“I want to order the Inspector General of Police to liaise with the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) so that the new college can become a constituent college of the National Defence University of Kenya (NDUK). To enable those who enter the cadet ranks of the Kenya Police, to graduate with degrees from the NDUK.

President Kenyatta also urged the new graduands to discharge their duties without any fear. 

“You must not allow political intimidation to interfere with your work,” President Kenyatta told the new officers.

“In line with your oath of office, you are supposed to execute your work without fear or favour and without intimidation from any quarter. A criminal is a criminal,” he added.