After NLC’s establishment that Weston Hotel land was illegally acquired, many wished that Deputy President William Ruto will come out and speak over the matter, but did he? Well, the DP has now, for the first time, acknowledged that the land that his Weston Hotel sits on was illegally acquired.
Speaking on BBC HARDtalk show hosted by Stephen Sackur, the Deputy President said he “innocently” bought the land from its original owners, who had “illegally” obtained it.
Mr Ruto, however, says he is doing everything possible to ensure that the illegalities are corrected.
“Tell me about the Weston Hotel, which you own, which is worth an awful worth of money, and which is sitting on illegally acquired land,” Mr Sackur posed the question to Mr Ruto.
“Weston Hotel is a big story…,” said the DP, who, was thereafter, interrupted by the host.
“It is, Kenyans are following very closely; and maybe [that is] why you are top of that [Ipsos] poll [which placed you at the top of the list of leaders Kenyans perceive to be most corrupt]…,” said Mr Sackur.
“You would want to believe that Weston Hotel occupies half of Nairobi. Weston Hotel sits on 0.7 hectares of land…,” responded Mr Ruto.
Mr. Sackur, however, chimed in before the DP could complete his statement: “Illegally acquired land, which actually belongs to the Civil Aviation Authority, and then you miraculously acquired it and built a hotel
“For your information, Weston Hotel was bought…,” replied Mr Ruto.
“Illegally?” insisted Mr Sackur.
The Deputy President, thereafter, let the cat out of the bag, admitting that the Weston land was, indeed, illegally acquired – by its original owners.
“Not bought illegally. In fact, for the record, the National Land Commission has made a finding that Weston was an innocent purchaser for value from somebody who got it illegally, and preparations have been made constitutionally to restore that land to Kenya Civil Aviation Authority by demanding that those who sold the land to us must pay,” said the Deputy President.