EXPERT COMMENT: What NLC said on Ruto’s Weston Hotel land

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The management of Weston Hotel Ltd did not provide any information that could explain the circumstances that led to the taking possession of the land, except that Priority and Monene were in possession of title documents from the Commissioner of Lands.

There is definitely no evidence of any exchange of money or other considerations between registered owners of LR. 209/14372 and the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority.

We have also found out that the KCAA never moved to the second site and that the site of their five-storey headquarters at JKIA was leased from the Kenya Airports Authority.

KCA voluntarily evacuated the site reserved for them near Wilson Airport and by accepting the alternative site, they relinquished their claim to the site. The KCAA was reluctant to seek court intervention even at the insistence of the parent ministry, the Ministry of Transport and Communication.

KCA retained a law firm in their dealings with the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission but did not instruct them to sue for the return of the property. Their request to the Commissioner of Police for intervention was rejected by the Commissioner of Police. Their pleas to the Register of Titles and the Commissioner of Lands fell on deaf ears. The dispute finally landed with the NLC.

It’s not disputed that the subject parcel belonged to Kenya Civil Aviation Authority. The letter of allotment issued to Priority Limited and Monene Investment was irregular. Weston is bonafide purchasers without notice of any defects in the title.

The land at the time of valuation was undervalued but the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority lost an important asset in this case.

However, the then Commissioner and Minister of Lands are to be blamed for the occurrences as they failed to act on the irregular allocation of the parcel.

The management of Kenya Civil Aviation Authority then is also blamed for vacating the subject parcel without establishing if the alternative land was available for allocation.

The Commission, therefore, after considering and analysing the issue at hand, made a finding that:

The current market value of the land is to be determined by the Commission after which Weston Hotel is required to pay the current market price of land to the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority so as to enable it to purchase land of equal value.

Excerpt from National Land Commission ruling on Weston

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