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Weston Hotel land grab rumours, says KCAA

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Weston hotelTHE Kenya Civil Aviation Authority yesterday dismissed reports that the land where a prominent city hotel sits belongs to the state corporation.

New director general Gilbert Kibe and immediate former acting DG Joseph Kiptoo said reports on the land where Weston Hotel sits are “rumours”.

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This despite the existence of documents showing the hotel on Lang’ata Road and which is associated with Deputy President William was built on public land.

Letters in possession of the Star show Survey Plan Folio Number 198 and Register Number 169, registered on January 31, 1990, was public land allocated to the Directorate of Civil Aviation.

“For me those are rumours I only read in the papers. Until it is proven otherwise, I will take as rumours,” Kibe said.

He was speaking yesterday at the East Africa School of Aviation offices after he officially took over his position.

“The documents you are talking about are what we read in the press. If there are document that clearly show the land to us, we are obligated to go for it,” Kibe said.

KCAA Board chairman Samuel Poghisio avoided questions and instead directed them to Kiptoo.

He was appointed as the chair of the board by President Uhuru on April.

Poghisio smiled and shook his head as his colleagues struggled to answer questions.

Kiptoo, who is the director corporate affairs, said we will make sure “any assets that belong to this institution remain in this institution”.

“As a government institution, such matters are within the purvew of the Auditor General. We normally submit any documentary evidence as pertains to land that belongs to government institutions, but for this particular case, we are not aware of any,” he said.

The Star exclusively reported on June 8 that on August 22, 2001, Francis Muthaura, who was then Transport PS, wrote to his Lands counterpart Nehemia Ng’eno asking him to issue a title deed in favour of the Directorate of Civil Aviation.

This was after a Ms Kikubi applied to be allocated the land.

“In order to safeguard ownership of the government plot, which seems to attract the attention of property developers, I request that your office issues a title in favour of DCA,” Muthaura said in letter Ref No MTC/CONF/6.111/(55).

Despite his plea, the land was allocated to Priority Ltd, a company associated with Ruto, on August 30, 2002.

Ruto was Home Affairs minister and a few months before Kanu was removed from power by the Mwai Kibaki-led Narc.

Priority Ltd was an interested party in Civil Suit No 1192 of 2005, in which Ruto challenged the decision by the government to arrest and prosecute him and businessman Joshua Kulei over the Ngong Forest land.

The DP was acquitted in charges of selling part of a government forest to the Kenya Pipeline Company.

The matter is under investigation by the National Land Commission. Attempts to reach chairman Muhammad Swazuri on the status of the investigations were not successful as his phone went unanswered.

The matter is also being investigated by the Parliamentary Committee on Accounts and Public Investments.

the-star.co.ke

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