Dp Ruto has indicated he is ready to pay for the land tha Weston Hotel sits on- but the KCAA says this will set a bad precedent for land grabbers.
Deputy President William Ruto could fork out more than sh350 m for the land on which his Weston Hotel stands on Lang’ata Road, Nairobi, following recommendations by the National Land Commission.
An acre of land in the area goes for Sh 220 million. Weston sits on 1.77 acres. Then the area could cost upto sh 350 million.
However, the NLC has recommended that it undertakes fresh valuation on the parcel before a final figure is sent to the DP for the settlement that is if the DP agrees to the NLC findings.
However, the DP’s wish could hit a snag since the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA)-the complainant in the case ha s signalled its intention to appeal NLC’s decision. This can only take place in a full court hearing.
A conspiracy of silence between officials in the Lands ministry and those from KCAA led to the loss of the lannd, says the report prepared by the NLC on the status of the land. The report, signed by NLC vice chairperson Abigael Mbagaya, upbraids officials from the two offices for not doing enough to protect the property even when it had come to their knowledge that it was being targeted by private developers. The Lands ministry failed to place a caveat on the property as it had suggested in one of the many back and forth letter it wrote KCAA concerning the land, while the latter failed to file a court case against what it claimed was irregular allocation of its property to private individuals.
She recommended that Weston Hotel to pay the current market price for the land to KCAA so as to enable it purchase land of equal value and for NLC to regularise the title to Weston. However, Ms Mbagaya noted that the process of allocation to Priority and Monene – who sold the land to Weston- may have not followed due process, but no documents were apprently forged. But she said the land was terribly under-valued by the time it was allocated to Priority Limited and Monene Investment for Sh409,290 as statutory fees in 2002. In 2007, the two firms sold the land to Weston Hotels Ltd.
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