The government is set to gradually lift the ban on scrap metal business starting May 1.
Industrialization CS Betty Maina said from May, trading in scrap metal will be confined to only licensed dealers.
She added that undertaking scrap metal trade without a license will now cost a fine of Kes10 million for first offenders and up to five years’ imprisonment for second-time culprits.
“All those who applied for licenses will be vetted by the multi-agency teams established in each county and chaired by the county commissioner prior to issuance of licenses,” Ms Maina said.
President Uhuru Kenyatta on January 20 imposed an indefinite ban on scrap metal trade with a view to tame runaway damage and vandalism of key State installations, including guard rails on roads, power lines and utility infrastructure, conductors, cables, copper wires, railway gauge blocks and rails among others.
“As of today, we will no longer allow and we have a moratorium on the export or buying and selling of any scrap material until we have put in place proper guidelines that will ensure that the material is not coming from the hard material investments the people of Kenya have made,” the President said during a pass out parade of police officers in Nyeri.
In the new rules developed by the Ministry of Industrialization, licensed dealers, millers, and smelters will pay fees of Kes250,000 for over 5,000kg of scrap metal, agents will pay Kes150,000 for 5,000kg, collectors and jua kali will pay Kes50,000 for 3,000kg.