Businesses worth millions destroyed as Kenya Railways reclaims Nakuru land

Property worth millions of shillings was destroyed early Sunday morning in Nakuru County are the Kenya Railways Corporations evicted its tenants.

The evictions saw businesses stretching about 500 metres along the busy Geoffrey Kamau Road demolished.

The move is meant to pave way for the rehabilitation of the Nakuru-Kisumu medium meter gauge Railway and the Sh160 Billion expansion of the Limuru-Nakuru road which starts at Lironi all the to Mau Summit.

The tenants had leases of between 15 years to 30 years and established mega business which included night clubs, hotels and accommodation, gas stations, car bazaars and a tyre centre among others.

Some of the businesses were hardly a month old while some had not even opened doors to the public.

A 60-bed capacity accommodation facility by The Place Grill Park was to be launched later this month.

However, the lease contract had a rider stating that the Kenya Railways can repossess the land after a 90-day notice.

In middle July when the Sh3. 8 billion rehabilitation of the medium meter-gauge railway commenced, KR Estates Manager, Patrick Nzomo said the corporation had issued a vacate notice to the business community in March.

Businesses started thriving on the railway land in 2012 sprouting an economy that included a bus termini, three-car bazaars, two petrol stations, a mega nightclub complete with accommodation, a tyre centre and garages and several restaurants.

However, the tenants maintained that they were given a five-hour notice to vacate their premises.

“Some youths came and marked the buildings for demolition at around 2:30 pm on Saturday and warned that the structures would be pulled down by 11:00 pm,” said Ndichu Kuria a businessman.

He said that was not sufficient notice to vacate multimillion businesses and that hundreds of people including women who had been hawking food in the region will lose their jobs.

Kiarie said it was unfair that just when businesses were picking after Covid-19, the government decided to destroy them in a day

Yesterday evening, the tenants were frantically carting away their property in lorries in a move to salvage the most they could.

Tankers were also drawing fuel from two petrol stations that were marked for demolition.

There was a heavy traffic snarl-up along the Geoffrey Kamau Road which is part of the Nakuru-Eldoret highway due to the activities.

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