Deputy President Ruto and Weston hotel story

05 Jun 2015 | by
Deputy President Ruto and Weston hotel story

The confirmation by deputy president William Samoei Ruto that he owns the controversial Weston Hotel along Langata Road brings into focus how the land on which it stands was stolen from a state department.

The land was supposed to be the headquarters of the kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) until 2001 when grabbers started eyeing it.

Besides land, the deputy president has been cited in the Moi Referral hospital saga where there was a plot to renovate the hospital for a staggering sh17 billion.

A former aide to CORD leader Herbert Ojwang pretended to blow the whistle on Ruto.(see story on page 2)

Those in the know claim that the KCAA land changed hands during the tenure of Dr Chris Kuto as the director general of the authority while Charles Wako was the chairman.

Documents which the Gazette Weekly has seen show that the transfer to Weston Hotel whose directors are Ruto, his wife Rael Kimetto was finally effected on June 13, 2007. 

While Ruto had tried to distance himself from the ownership of the hotel following the beating of children of the Langata Road Primary school over their playground, this week he came out to lay claim to the hotel.

At the height of the fight for the children's playground, a close ally of the deputy president Patrick Osero came out to say he owns the hotel. But nobody took him serious as he could not tell how many shares he had in the hotel.

Osero took it upon himself to point journalists towards the owners of airport view limited owned by contractor Harban Singh and his three sons.

The grapevine had it that Weston hotel wanted to grab the playground to convert it into a parking for the hotel a position he disputes claiming the hotel had adequate parking.

In the returns for September 2012, there were only four directors who included the DP and his wife. Others were a company, Matiny limited and Charlene Chelagat. Incidentally the four share the same address in nairobi. 

The offices for Weston hotel are at the same address where the deputy president has a private office on Transnational Plaza, opposite 20th Century along Mama Ngina Street in nairobi. The same address houses the offices of Amaco Insurance, yet another company owned by the DP.

After the land was transferred to Weston in June 2007, it was charged to Equity Bank for sh100 million.

Last July, Ruto discharged it from Equity Bank last year on October 27 and charged it to the kenya Commercial Bank for US$1.5million and sh350 million.

Back to how the land disappeared, on August 27, 2001, the then Permanent Secretary for lands Francis Muthaura wrote to his counterpart in the lands and settlement ministry Dr Nehemiah Ngeno warning that the land belongs to KCAA.

"The true position is that this plot which is located just outside Wilson airport is not vacant because it has buildings which provide central storage facilities for sensitive air navigation equipment and spares belonging to the directorate of civil aviation", the letter says.

He further continues to say that the land is earmarked for development as the headquarters of KCAA.

At the time the current Baringo Central MP Sammy Mwaita was the commissioner for lands while Sally Kosgei was the head of civil service and secretary to the cabinet.

Early this year the Gazette Weekly revealed documents lodged before court also showed that the land where Weston Hotel stands belongs to the government of Kenya.

The documents had been filed in court by businessman Jacob Juma who sought to have the land returned to the government of Kenya.

In the petition, Juma attached letters from the then Transport PS Francis Muthaura and his successor Sammy Kyungu, warning that private developers were eyeing the property.

The documents say stores measuring 0.77 ha were built, and sensitive air navigation equipment and spares belonging to KCAA kept on the property.

Juma said the property was unavailable for alienation by the time of transfer to Priority Limited and Munene Investments.

He said the grant issued to the two companies was illegal and that the Lands commissioner breached public trust when he allotted the property on August 30, 2002.

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