, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 12 – Deputy President William Ruto has now admitted that the land where Weston Hotel is situated was acquired illegally by the original owners who sold it to him.
Appearing in the BBC Hard Talk show hosted by Stephen Sackur, Ruto stated that he had no knowledge of the matter when he bought the land.
The Deputy President further pointed out that a probe by the National Land Commission (NLC) revealed Weston was an innocent purchaser for value from somebody who got it illegally.
“Tell me about the Weston Hotel which you own and is worth and awful lot of money and which is sitting on illegally acquired land,” Sackur asked him to which Ruto answered that “Weston Hotel is a big story and you would want to believe that it occupies the half of Nairobi. For your information, Weston Hotel was not bought illegally.”
He stated that the constitutional process seeking to compel the original owner to compensate the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority is currently underway.
“The National Land Commission has made a finding that Weston was an innocent purchaser for value from somebody who got it illegally and reparations have been made constitutionally to restore that land to the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority by demanding that those who sold the land to us must pay,” he said.
According to the KCAA, the land where Weston Hotel sits on, originally belonged to the East Africa Community.
It was developed and had been used as storage premises for the machinery and aviation equipment of the then Directorate of Civil Aviation (DCA).
However, on June 29, 1999, then-Commissioner of Lands, Sammy Mwaita wrote to the Directorate of Civil Aviation, indicating he had received an application from a church group that wanted to build a church on the site.
In its recommendations, NLC said they could not verify if the process of land allocation was illegal as none of the parties had presented evidence before it.
The Commission however confirmed that the controversial Weston land belonged to KCAA