The Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) from Nairobi to Naivasha has reportedly not been operational for the last three months following vandalism by criminals.
According to reports, criminals hired by scrap metal dealers to saw the rail bars and sell it to them at night.
The vandals have taken advantage of the surrounding forest where they hide their loot before transporting it to the vendors who have increased shops at Kataka, Nkaimurunya and Merisho Markets.
The railway line cuts across Nairobi, Kajiado, Nakuru and Narok with four passenger stations- Ongata Rongai, Ngong, Mai Mahiu and Suswa. It has one inter-change station at Nachu station.
According to Inspector Mercy Mino who is in charge of Critical Infrastructure Police Unit in the area, no arrests have been made so far despite numerous reports made to the police.
“They vandalise at night and hide the metals in the forest. we are making efforst to arrest them,” said Mercy.
In 2017, four suspects were arrested in connection with the vandalism of the SGR at Kibanda-Hasara in Kwale County, about 30km west of Mombasa.
The four include scrap metal dealers who were arrested in Voi Town while in possession of materials including metal rails.
At that time, President Uhuru Kenyatta said vandalism will not be tolerated or a few people allowed to interfere with the rights of the present and future generations.
“Mimi ni wakwanza kukubaliana ya kwamba urais umenipea nguvu ya kuweka kidole…wale watapatikana wakiharibu reli, nitaweka kidole wanyongwe (I acknowledge that the presidency gives me the right to pass laws…those found vandalising the infrastructure…I will pass a law for them to be hanged),” he said.
Among those suspected of leading the vandalism include bodaboda operators, street boys, matatu touts and organised criminal gangs.