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Traders Petition State Over Demolition

A row is brewing between a section of traders in Sagana town and Kenya Railways Corporation workers over the impending demolition of structures built on land reserved for the railways.

National Youth Service personnel acting on behalf of the Corporation on Thursday demarcated the section of the town whose buildings are on the corporation’s land.

Today morning the NYS brought fencing material and started erecting concrete poles to cordon off the area, an act which prompted traders to rush to the scene screaming.

Led by the Kirinyaga County Jubilee Chairman Murithi Kangara, the traders claimed they had not been served with any notice to vacate from the area.

Some 30 business premises have been affected while a total of 300 dependents are said to have moved out from the area according to their spokesman Peter Warui.

Warui who claimed to have been conducting his business since the late 50’s blamed the Railways corporation for sending in the NYS to fence off the area without any public participation.

“We can’t accept this, this is outright violation of fundamental Human Rights and we want the government to stop any planned demolition of our property until an amicable solution is found,” said Warui.

Kangara on the other hand wondered why the affected plot owners were just sitting and watching as their property was   being taken over.

It was at this juncture that some boda boda riders stormed the venue and threatened to pull down the concrete poles which had just been erected leading to a scuffle.

The NYS personnel retreated only to re-emerge with police reinforcement armed with rungus, which forced the intruders to scamper in various directions

Both Warui and Kangara have business interests at the town and their plots are said to have been partially earmarked   for demolition having been built on the rail land.

The Corporation is recovering all its grabbed land from Nairobi, Thika, Murang’a, Kirinyaga and Nyeri up to Nanyuki as it gears up  to revive operations on  the dormant rail line into a viable  commercial enterprise.

By Irungu Mwangi


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