Leaders in Nyeri County have assured over 2,000 traders in Karatina and Chaka towns that they will not be evicted by the Kenya Railways Corporation.
Traders were issued with a notice ordering them to vacate the rail line reserves to give way for the pending full possession and refurbishment of lines by the corporation.
The letter issued by the corporation’s acting Managing Director Philip Mainga asked anyone illegally occupying the corporation’s reserves within railway stations and adjacent reserves across the country to vacate in five days.
“You are asked to voluntarily move out of the land to ensure your personal safety and allow room for normal rail operations or face eviction for trespass,” said the letter.
Nyeri Senator Ephraim Maina, who held a meeting with the traders in Karatina town, said they would not be evicted without an alternative site to do business.
“I will continue to defend your rights to conduct business in this town. The five-day eviction notice will not hold. The government will address your concerns,” he said.
Maina said he would fight the eviction notice.
“The government is sympathetic and will come up with a solution which will allow for the railway line to be built and for you to continue working without disturbance,” he said.
In Chaka town, area MP Kanini Kega assured the traders that they would not be evicted until the multi-billion shilling Chaka market was completed.
The market was commissioned by President Uhuru Kenyatta in late 2016. So far, the national government has spent Sh431 million on the first phase, which is 89 per cent complete.
Kega was accompanied by Muranga County MP Sabina Chege, Senator Irungu Kangata and Nyeri town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu.
Last week, the traders held talk with Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga who promised to intervene.