Property worth millions of shillings was destroyed in Nakuru in a chaotic operation by the Kenya Railways Corporations to evict tenants on Sunday morning.
KR torched business stretching over 500 metres along the busy Geoffrey Kamau Road in a move aimed at paving way for rehabilitation of Nakuru-Kisumu medium meter gauge Railway.
Destroyed property included a 60-bed capacity accommodation facility by The Place Grill Park was to be launched later this month.
Leases were ranging between 15 to 30 years but the contract had a rider stating that the Kenya Railways can repossess the land after a 90-day notice.
KR claims it had issued a notice in mid July when the Sh3. 8 billion rehabilitation of the medium meter-gauge railway commence but the tenants did not vacate. Tenants claim they were given only five hours to vacate.
“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,” one victim said.
Business has been a boom on the railway land since 2012 sprouting an economy that included a bus termini, three-car bazaars, two petrol stations, nightclubs, accomodation facilities, restaurants and garages.
The affected investors said that KR did not give them sufficient notice to vacate multi million businesses that employed hundreds of people including women who have been hawking food in the area.
The unfair move comes at the time when businesses were just reopening with some some beginning to to pick after the government relaxed Covid-19 containment measures.
Saturday witnessed a beehive of activities as the tenants struggled to cart away their property in lorries in a move to salvage whatever they could.
Tankers were also seen drawing fuel from two petrol stations that had been marked for demolition leading to a heavy traffic snarl up along the busy Geoffrey Kamau Road.
The move is also expected to create room for the Sh160 Billion expansion of the Limuru-Nakuru road which starts at Lironi and stretches all the way to Mau Summit.