Shortly after the Kenya Railways Corporation began a campaign to reacquire land it claims was grabbed, the corporation on Wednesday raided Kisumu city centre.
This comes amid ongoing demolitions of structures on the corporation's land surrounding the Kisumu Port, which has seen owners of hotels and clubs land on the receiving end.
Using National Youth Service (NYS) officers, the Kenya Railways pounced on some iconic establishments in the town earmarked for demolition, fencing them off.
They include the Swan Center, Plaza Mall and other buildings along Obote Road, which it intends to demolish on grounds that they are built on its land.
And with the landlords crying foul that they were never issued with any notice, the youth also fenced part of the road connecting Lwang'ni beach to the town, causing fears.
Mitchell Menezes, an advocate of Swan Center owners expressed his shock, saying that the building is not among those listed for possible demolitions last week.
“The parcel of land 7/404 is not among the ones that were released by EACC last week. We are surprised to see the building being fenced off,” Menezes told the Standard.
This comes amid more plans by the County Government of Kisumu to demolish roadside stalls along Gumbi and behind United Mall, with others located in Ondiek and Anderson Estates.
The county has said that the demolitions are in line with the beautification process ahead of the Kisumu edition of the Africities Forum, adding that others are sitting on top of the drainage system.
County Communication Director Alloyce Ager said that plans are in place to accommodate those affected elsewhere.
“We are fast-tracking efforts to get the traders a new location because we are alive to the challenges facing small traders in the city right now,” Ager said as quoted by the Standard.