• The Kenya Railways Corporation has moved to end the illegal occupation of its reserve lands, following increased activity which has been facilitated by the revamping of several rail lines. 

    The corporation announced that anyone found encroaching its land would be held criminally culpable and hefty fines will be imposed.

    In a statement, the railway service provider reminded Kenyans that it was a criminal offence to occupy its land. 

    “KR would like to inform the General Public that with or without prior knowledge, occupation of the Corporation’s reserve land is criminal.”

    Workers at the Nairobi Central Railway Station in 2020
    Kenya Railways

    “Anyone found violating the law is liable to imprisonment for a period of up to 10 years as per the KRC act. We therefore wish to remind the public that any unauthorized activities along the line is  strictly prohibited, “reads the statement.

    Kenya Railways is one of the largest landowners in Kenya but most of it has been lying idle for years after the service collapsed in the 1990s.

    Land grabbers and homeless people have taken advantage of the inactivity to set up businesses and homes in the railway reserves. 

    The government-owned organisation is covered by the Way Leaves Act which forbids any businesses against hindering its operation.

    Encroachment of land compromises safety standards resulting in derailments alongside other challenges which include delays and vandalism.

    The warning came just days after Kenya Railways demolished structures meant for business in Kisumu County.

    The demolition was meant to pave way for the construction of a passenger railway station in the area.

    Traders watched as the bulldozers brought down their structures as they tried to salvage what they could.

    Kisumu City Manager Abala Wanga said that the county was determined to retrieve grabbed land for the development of the city.

    “This is part of a wider plan towards the realization of the Kisumu Railway City. A development we all long to witness,” he stated.

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    A bulldozer demolishes houses in Kisumu County
    File