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Kenya Railways to take back illegally acquired land

By Kirsten Kanja and Mohammed Awal | September 28th 2019 at 01:00:00 GMT +0300

All illegal structures on Kenya Railway land in Kisumu were brought down with many business people who had different businesses suffering loses. August 12, 2019 (Denish Ochieng/ Standard)

Illegal settlers on Kenya Railways land have a month to vacate or risk demolition as the corporation gears up to implement the Nairobi commuter rail service.

The state corporation warns that it will start evicting those who acquired its land and properties illegally.

The encroachers on the Nairobi railway reserve will also suffer the same fate, according to a notice released yesterday. The eviction notice comes in the background of demolitions in Kisumu by the corporation recently.

“We are trying to re-establish connectivity within the towns. We have demand for our services in Mombasa, Ruiru and Kisumu. Those lines are very important for our operations so we can start serving the public efficiently and conveniently,” said Kenya Railways acting Managing Director Phillip Mainga.

In a public notice, Kemnya Railways wants those who have illegal title deeds to surrender the documents to the Kenya Railways headquarters by October 30, 2019. The firm is working with the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to help repossess the properties.

Risking eviction

“The corporation would like to bring to the attention of members of the public that we are in the process of reclaiming and repossessing all Corporation land and property held by or vested in the Kenya Railways which have been illegally acquired by private actors countrywide,” Kenya Railways’ notice reads.

Further, the corporation’s tenants have also been asked to regularise their accounts; and are risking eviction if they fail to do so. “Some land tenants have dormant accounts and are unreachable by phone, so we ask them to update their current status and pay as well,” Mainga said.

The corporation is also in the process of demolishing all illegal structures on the railway reserve land countrywide.

“The public land must be returned to allow Kenyans to enjoy operations,” Mainga said. Mainga stated that the main reason for this move is to complement the road transport network and utilise the railway system to reduce the increasing traffic gridlock in the cities.

Meanwhile, Kenya Railways is moving to fill the position of managing director. The position fell vacant when Atanas Maina was suspended over allegations of irregularities during compensation of landowners where the Standard Gauge Railway was built. Mainga was appointed acting managing director.  

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