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NLC denies reports of talks on Weston Hotel land ownership



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The National Land Commission has denied reports of a meeting to decide the ownership of Weston Hotel in Nairobi County.

Communication Director Khalid Salim regretted on Friday that the media has carried “misleading stories”.

“The stories are causing unnecessary anxiety among all stakeholders. Their content is unfounded and not factual,” Mr Salim said, without going into details.

The commission noted that its last meeting on the matter, which involved all affected parties, took place in October.

The parties made their submissions, which he said were under review, the goal being to reach a conclusion before the expiry of the commissioners’ term in February 2019.

“Since then ,the commission has not had any sitting to deliberate on the matter. The findings will be released to individual parties and the general public when the review is completed.”

He asked the media to desist from publishing “misleading stories” and apologise for the “irresponsible acts”.

Weston Hotel’s directors include Deputy President William Ruto.

Controversy has surrounded the establishment, reports indicating that rogue Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) officials may have colluded with those in the Lands ministry to give a private entity the land in Lang’ata on which it stands..

The authority is now fighting to repossess the land which measures about two acres.

It says some of its staff facilitated the illegal transfer of the property to third parties.

KCAA’s Legal Services Manager and Corporation Secretary, Mr Cyril Wanyong’o, told the NLC in November that the authority’s management and board never transferred the ownership of the land to any entity or individual.

Until 2002, the property hosted a store belonging to the Directorate of Civil Aviation (DCA).

At the time, Mr Ruto’s lawyer, Mr Ahmednasir Abdullahi, argued that his client had followed due process in acquiring the property.

The DP and Weston Hotel have been associated with Dolphin Hotel near the Indian Ocean in Mombasa.

As at August this year, records of the National Environment Management Authority (Nema) showed the application for the extension and alteration of Dolphin Hotel, that is allegedly encroaching on sea land, was filed by Weston Hotel Limited.

At the time, Mombasa Lands Executive Edward Nyale said the county government gave the hotel a go-ahead after it opened beach access roads.

At Karatina Stadium in Nyeri County on October 27, the DP described himself as an evangelist dedicated to spreading the gospel and supporting churches.

“If not a deputy president, I would be an evangelist,” he said, and also pointed out that he was raised by Christian parents.