Tycoon Sues Kenya Railways For Destroying Ksh220M Property

  • A wealthy businessman, Yusuf Isaack Suraw, has sued Kenya Railways for damaging his property valued at Ksh220 million.

    The tycoon went to court arguing that his family had been left in an impoverished state after the demolitions that took place in October last year.

    He told the court that while on a business trip to Mandera, he turned on his Television only to watch his property being destroyed. 

    Undated file image of a gavel on the bench in the courtroom

    Undated file image of a gavel on the bench in the courtroom

    “I switched on the television and the demolition was being broadcast live. It was devastating,” he stated. 

    He faulted KR for not issuing a prior notice to those with lease agreements before carrying out the demolitions. Suraw noted that they had entered into a lease agreement with Kenya Railways in February 2013 and extended the agreement for a period of 25 years. 

    Paying the amount in advance, Suraw expressed his disappointment when he saw the corporation renege on the deal.

    “The Kenya Railways, in the notice, directed owners with leases to pay the rent arrears and those with casual businesses and encroachers to vacate. We were not worried because we had cleared rent for the year,” the businessman stated.

    In a rejoinder, Kenya Railways noted that it was reclaiming part of its land, as it had done in other parts of the country.

    The tycoon highlighted that among his key businesses and investments that were destroyed included a petrol station, showrooms, restaurants, car wash, and various car dealership businesses.

    The case is set for hearing on May 24, 2022.

    In 2021, Kenya Railways demolished properties worth millions in its bid to reclaim its land. KR Managing Director, Phillip Mainga, however, noted that they had issued prior notices before carrying out the demolitions. 

    “This land we are repossessing will be leased out to organisations that will be supporting the operations of the train services. We expect there will be warehouses and companies investing in these areas and they will need space for their business,” Mainga stated after KR repossessed a tract of land in Nyeri County. 

    An image of Demolitions

    Kiosks demolished in Mtindwa, Nairobi on Tuesday, August 25 after being erected close to the railway line.

    Douglas Okidi

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