Leaders clash over planned relocation of Karatina traders

Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga (pictured) and senator Ephraim Maina have differed over the planned relocation of traders operating along the railway line in Karatina.

The traders are supposed to be moved to pave way for the repair of the rail. 

Mr Kahiga had identified a site to relocate the traders, which is far away from Karatina market, but Mr Maina has insisted that the traders must not be moved more than 10  metres from the railway line.

Speaking in Karatina on Sunday, Maina alleged that the land Kahiga wants the traders relocated to was grabbed.

He said moving them to such land will expose them to evictions.

"The Government policy is clear that traders should not be moved far from the rail," said Maina.

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"We won't allow business people to be moved to inaccessible areas."

He further noted that it can only be fair if the traders are moved only seven metres away. 

"The line is not passing through Karatina only. There are other areas people live next to the line and they have never been moved, " Maina said.

Already, Kenya Railways (KR) has issued eviction notices to traders telling them to pave way for the repair of the 240-kilometer line from Nairobi to Nanyuki.

The notice by the corporation has threatened to forcefully evict anyone who will not relocate.

Kahiga has insisted that the rail repair is necessary and the traders must be moved.

“The President has advised that we get an alternative site to relocate traders in Karatina and Chaka,” said the governor.

Most traders have been opposed to the relocation plans.

Already, clearance of bushes along the railway is ongoing in areas such as Laikipia, Nyeri, Kirinyaga and Muranga.

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Ephraim MainaNyeriMutahi KahigaKaratinaRail repair