Francis Atwoli, the secretary-general of the Central Organization of Trade Unions, has condemned the allocation of over 544 parcels of public land to individuals by the previous management of the Kenya Railways Corporation.
Dr Atwoli has called the allocation unconstitutional, illegal and irregular, and has stated that it contravenes the Land Act and the Kenya Railways Corporation Act. To prevent such allocations from happening in the future, he is calling on the government to support the Kenya Railways management to reclaim its land.
The irregular allocation of Kenya Railways land has been highlighted in the report of the Auditor-General on the accounts of the state corporation for the 2018/19 financial year.
The audit indicates that the land was mainly allocated to individuals by the defunct Commissioner of Lands and defunct local authorities, without the consent of the corporation.
Dr Atwoli has also noted that the future of Kenya’s economy is more important than “land grabbers”. He is calling on the management of Kenya Railways and the government to act quickly and reverse the title deeds, as well as finding a sustainable solution for protecting public land in the corporation.
Kenya Railways Managing Director Philip Mainga has urged Parliament to step in and help with the relocation of Matatus from the Railways bus station to the Green Park stage to fast-track implementation of the Nairobi City Railway Project.
The project, which is funded by the UK government, involves construction of a tunnel that will link the Green Park stage at the city’s Uhuru Park with Haile Selassie Avenue to address traffic congestion on the busy Uhuru Highway.
The proposed railway project will sit on 425 acres of land, located at the centre of Nairobi city and surrounded by the industrial area to the south, the city’s central business district (CBD) area to the north, and residential houses on the eastern side.
The new city project will relieve the CBD of part of the load in hosting enterprises through setting up economic zones that will comprise hi-tech industries and SMEs in a development set to create over 200,000 new jobs. Last year, Kenya struck a deal with the UK which in December committed £80 million to build a green city of office blocks, malls and a light industrial hub on Kenya Railways land in fresh efforts to decongest the CBD and create jobs.