A group of Karatina residents in Nyeri County met a rude shock when they went to invade a piece of land belonging to the Kenya Railways Corporation.

About 100 individuals chanting ‘freedom is coming’ invaded the premise on Tuesday morning after the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Wafula Chebukati declared William Ruto the winner of the presidential election.

Karatina Railway Station. PHOTO/KRC

The Kenya Railways Corporation evicted about 2000 Mtumba traders from the same parcel of land which is a railway reserve for the rehabilitation of the railway.

According to the invaders, Deputy President-elect Rigathi Gachagua promised to settle them on the same parcel of land if President-elect William Ruto assumed power.

However, the Kenya Railway police foiled the invasion and the group, which had started demarcating the parcel of land and erecting beacons, fled, promising they would return once their President is sworn in.

They maintained they were just fulfilling part of an election pledge that Gachagua made.

Rigathi Gachagua. PHOTO/TWITTER

The Mathira East Sub-county Police Commander Benjamin Rotich confirmed the incident and cautioned the residents against breaking the law as he promised the perpetrators would be brought to book.

“It is true some people tried to invade the railway reserve. When people were celebrating after the declaration of winners, we didn’t know they were celebrating to invade the land. But they are forgetting that there is a government in place and the land does not belong to anybody but is government property,” Rotich said.

Rotich further advised the traders to use legal means to have lease agreements instead of forcefully occupying private property.

“Even if it was private property, there is a legal way to go about it and if they want to conduct business there, let them approach Kenya Railways and have a lease agreement. You don’t wake up one morning and take other people’s property and we will not allow this to happen,” Rotich said.