On Monday, July 11, Kenya Railways issued a warning against rogue entities using railway lines across the country for non-rail machinery.
In a statement, the authority pointed to the use of planes and drones, noting that it had noticed an increase in activity in recent weeks.
Kenya Railways reiterated that the lines are solely owned by the organization and that it is the only entity legally allowed to do business there.
“Over the past few years, we have noted with concern the use of our rail lines and reserves, for activities involving non-rail vehicles, including aircraft and drones.
Archive image of a drone
“We would like to reiterate that it is illegal to engage in any type of activity or transact any type of business on any railroad lines or reservations anywhere in the country. rail and reservations are for rail operations only and are off-limits to unauthorized members of the public,” the statement read in part.
For years the company has fended off land grabbers and squatters who in turn destroy the infrastructure it has established across the country.
In the latest contest, Kenya Railways is fighting to reclaim its land valued at Ksh 15 billion that cartels allegedly invaded.
According to Auditor General Nancy Gathungu, some of the cartels had already split the packages and sold them to unsuspecting buyers.
“As previously reported, various plots of land were allocated by third parties without the Company’s consent either by the Land Commissioner or by the former local authorities,” Gathungu noted in his audit of the year ending in June 2020.
In 2021, the company also completed the rehabilitation of the Nakuru-Kisumu railway line which had stood idle for several years – with the aim of making it financially viable.
The drill cost Kenya Railways over Ksh 3.7 billion and involved clearing thieves and squatters from the land.
According to the Kenya Railways Act, anyone caught carrying out unauthorized activities on the railway line faces a prison term not exceeding 10 years.
Illegal activities include obstructing the operation of a Company train or vehicle that endangers or could endanger the life of any person or interferes with any train, vehicle, signal, rail, tie, beacon or other property of the Company.
An undated photo of a Kenya Railways train
suspicious illegal struggle