Property destroyed as bulldozers reclaim Kenya Railways land

Monday, October 12th, 2020 00:00 |
The famous Grill Place Bar and Restaurant in Nakuru town being demolished yesterday as Kenya Railways Corporation intensified its land reclamation programme to revive the colonial MGR. Photo/PD/RAPHAEL MUNGE

Property worth millions of shillings was yesterday destroyed in Nakuru to reclaim land owned by Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC).

Bulldozers flattened properties along the busy Geoffery Kamau Road as police stood guard throughout to avoid any looting or standoff as the process commenced.

Restaurants, godowns, night clubs, petrol stations, and motor vehicle yards were brought down as KR insisted that the tenants had been given a three months notice to vacate the land as their leases were revoked.

However, tenants lamented they had leases of between 15 years to 30 years and established mega businesses with some unable to make returns occasioned by the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to KR, the move is meant to pave way for the rehabilitation of the Nakuru-Kisumu Meter Gauge Railway (MGR), in the contract the corporation can repossess the land after a 90-day notice.

Also, the Sh160 billion expansion of the Limuru-Nakuru road which starts at Lironi to Mau Summit is expected to take up a huge chunk of the land and thus the move.

Mid-July when the Sh3.8 billion rehabilitation of the MGR commenced, KR Estates Manager, Patrick Nzomo said the corporation had issued a vacate notice to the business community in March.

The tenants maintained that they were given a little time to vacate their premise with a number of them having to look for alternative stores to keep their wares including vehicles and stocks.

They noted they had expected a boom in business after the government relaxed several restrictions saying that the move was untimely and has killed them financially.

James Kimani who owns a car wash in the area said the notice to vacate businesses was to soon and that hundreds of people including women who had been hawking food in the region will lose their jobs.

Kimani however said there was little they could do to block their evictions as a clause in the contract they signed gave KR full authority to reclaim the land where need be.

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