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.”
“Anyone found violating the law is liable to imprisonment for a period of up to 10 years as per the KRC act,” 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.
Matatu Operators Protest As KRA Goes After Fares
KRA collects annual taxes from matatus per passenger seat but the matatus argue the arrangement should be adjusted to account for reduced seat capacity that has hit the sector since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Matatu Owners Association (MOA) Chairman Simon Kimutai argues that the authority has failed to consider the new seating arrangement by the vehicles that has led to a reduced number of passengers per trip.
He was speaking after he forwarded a memorandum to KRA where he demanded a review of the advanced taxes.
“The KRA is still demanding Ksh720 per seat per year or Ksh10,080 for a 14-seater matatu whose capacity has been reduced to nine seats, while 41-seater buses that pay Ksh29,520 per annum have had their capacity reduced to 25 passengers,” he stated.
Kimutai failed to understand why the government was charging tax per seat yet did not allow the vehicles to carry passengers to full capacity.
“We did not mind paying taxes, but we wonder why we are being overlooked when other sectors have been given a reprieve,” he added.
Kimutai explained that a 33-seater bus was carrying a maximum of 17 passengers and still paying Ksh23,760 per annum while 26-seaters which was now limited to 15 passengers, are still paying Ksh18,720 in advanced tax.
In April, the government directed matatus to carry 60 percent of their capacities to allow social distancing among passengers.
The industry has been experiencing huge losses as a result of the containment measures that also require them to provide sanitisers for passengers.
They lamented that other transport sectors like the standard gauge railway and international flights had been allowed to carry to full capacity.
“We have already attained all the requirements by the government and we wonder why we have not been allowed to operate full capacity like the other sectors,” Lower Eastern Transport Welfare Association chairman Onesmus Kyalo stated in a past interview.
DCI Captures Ksh3.5M Bank Heist Suspect
The suspect was traced to his home in Githunguri, Kiambu where he was arrested.
Authorities believe that the suspect disposed of the guns which had been taken from police officers guarding the bank.
Two pistols were found dumped outside Kiambu Hospital Gate on Tuesday, January 19, 2021.
“The firearms were dropped by a motorbike passenger at Kiambu Hospital’s Gate shortly before the motorbike disappeared into the darkness,” DCI George Kinoti said.
Police are yet to recover the motorbike which ferried the suspect to the scene where the guns were found.
The investigation is being conducted by a team of DCI detectives from the headquarters, Embakasi and Special Service Unit officers.
The arrest brings to four the number of suspects in police custody over the Monday afternoon robbery.
The suspects in custody include the two police officers who were guarding the bank and a teller.
The bank teller is expected to help DCI with insights on the heist which was conducted in broad daylight.
The robbery was staged in a way that even motorists who were driving in and out of the building did not suspect anything.
A private security guard sustained injuries on his right arm during the robbery.
NMS to Open Newly Built Hospitals in 4 Nairobi Estates
NMS said that the first four of the 24 hospitals it constructed will be ready for use in Uthiru, Kiamaiko, Ushirika and Soweto-Kayole.
The facilities are both Level 2 and Level 3 hospitals.
“Contractors are installing equipment. They will be ready next week.
“We are finalising on the projects,” NMS Director of Health Services Dr Josephine Kibaru-Mbae said.
NMS further recruited 600 nurses who will be deployed to the 24 facilities which Badi hope will all be unveiled in 2021.
The newly recruited health professionals and hospitals will clear the backlog of unattended patients in the county hospitals and the country’s referral Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH).
“The nurses presented their documents for verification, subsequent issuance of appointment letters,” NMS added on its website.
NMS also opened a dispensary at Green Park Terminus at Nairobi Railways. Beds, heart rate monitors and sanitisers were installed to curb the spread of Covid-19 pandemic.
The terminus will also include police post, restaurants, supermarket, modern ablution block, restrooms for motorists and commuters.
Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko handed over health functions to the NMS in February 2020. President Uhuru Kenyatta said that the agency would ensure his Big 4 Agenda, Universal Health Care, was achieved.