Businessmen in Mombasa are counting losses after the government demolished their properties overnight.
Demolitions took place on the night of December 17, 2023, on the land that was established to belong to Kenya Railways Services.
Waking to a rude shock, the businesses were prompted to take to the streets carrying banners and leaves to demand justice.
“We finished our business yesterday, parked our goods, and stored them inside today morning we woke up and found nothing, we are not sure if it was well stored or the goods were stolen,” one of the traders stated.
Wreckage left after Kenya Railways demolitions
Meanwhile, some of the traders who were present at the time of the incident were not able to rescue all the goods, as the excavators were busy bringing the properties down.
“Our property was destroyed with goods inside,” another trader who managed a motor vehicle store lamented.
According to the residents who claimed they had the right to establish their properties on the land, the demolitions did not follow due diligence.
They further condemned the demolishing, stating that most of them were allocated the land by the government and Kenya Railways.
While basing their arguments on their allegations, the businessmen are calling on the county government of Mombasa and the national government to come to their aid.
In February, the national government earmarked several land along the Miritini to Mombasa railway line for renovations calling for public participation.
Among the resolved resolutions was the evacuation of squatters and traders to pave the way for the planting of trees, as the trains were expected to move at a high speed of 50km/hr after the new renovations.
The settlers have since then been removed, compensated, and offered counselling.
Contractors carrying out rehabilitation works on the old Nairobi-Nanyuki railway line.