Kenya Railways Loses Prime Land to Businessman

  • Police officers at a Kenya Railways terminal
    Police officers at a Kenya Railways terminal.
    File
  • Kenya Railways Corporation has lost a bid to take over a disputed piece of land from Kisumu businessman Harjot Singh Dhanjal.

    Judge Fatuma Sichale dismissed a request filed by KRC seeking to overturn an initial ruling which had barred the corporation from taking over the property.

    Court documents revealed that KRC agents had invaded the disputed property in 2019 and began fencing around the plot of land.

    A train pictured on the NCPB Kisumu railway line in July 2020.
    A train pictured on the NCPB Kisumu railway line in July 2020.
    File

    This, judge Sichale ruled, was deemed illegal despite Kenya Railways arguing that the land had been encroached by the Kisumu businessman. 

    Further, the judge faulted the delay in filing the notice of appeal by the corporation. The normal stipulated period that is allowed for filing a notice of appeal is 14 days after the initial ruling is delivered.

    KRC however, filed the notice of appeal on July 27, 2020 - three months after the High Court judgment.

    Judge Sichale also dismissed KRC's explanation of the delay of filing the notice in which it had cited disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

    "Without expressing definitive conclusions, the applicant has failed to explain the delay in filing the notice of appeal or the prejudice that it will suffer if the orders sought are not granted.

    "In the result, I decline to exercise my discretion to grant the notice. Accordingly, I dismiss the application with costs," read part of the ruling.

    In the initial High Court ruling, Judge Anthony Ombwayo barred Kenya Railways from taking over the plot of land. 

    The ruling comes as the state agency has been part of the government's plans to revamp the transport sector within the country. 

    This has seen the government pour millions into reviving rail transport in order to offer alternatives to road transport.

    However, with the development, a section of Kenyans have lost their land to the corporation which oversaw demolitions across the country in order to reclaim its land. 

    File image of a court gavel
    File image of a court gavel
    File