Orengo, Otiende Amollo in court to demolish DP Ruto’s Weston Hotel

Will Weston Hotel survive this time round?

File image of Weston Hotel

Lawyers James Orengo and Otiende Amollo are involved in fresh court proceedings to bring down Deputy President William Ruto’s Weston Hotel that sits on public land.

The Standard reports that Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) has moved to the Lands and Environment Court to challenge a controversial deal brokered by the National Land Commission that would see DP Ruto pay for the grabbed land belonging to KCAA on which the hotel sits.

A suit reportedly filed by lawyers James Orengo and Otiende Amollo, argue out that NLC lacked powers to order KCAA to negotiate with the DP for compensation and that KCAA said its only desire was to get back its land and not to be paid any money.

KCAA’s lawyers argue out that “The first respondent’s (NLC) determination further is irrational and irregular as no party pleaded for compensation. The final order also fails to account for the fixtures on the land, making the order ambiguous and absurd and incapable of implementation”.

The legal team further argues out that the deal brokered by NLC deliberately ignored criminal dealings of land grabbing.

“Similarly, the determination is irrational because it deliberately turned a blind eye to the corrupt dealings of the second (Weston Hotel), third (Priority Limited) and fourth (Monene Investments Limited) respondents instead of upholding the petitioner legitimate expectation to enforcement of its property rights, thereby setting a bad precedent that wrongfully elevates land grabbing by private entities beyond legal reproach.” Reads suit papers.

Weston receives preferential treatment amidst public outrage

Unlike other buildings erected on riparian and illegally acquired public land that came tumbling down, Weston hotel associated with Deputy President William Ruto will not be demolished despite standing on an illegally acquired public land.

National Land Commission(NLC) in a report dated 22 January, acknowledges that the hotel sits on 0.773 hectares of land belonging to the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) but still gives it the rare privilege of paying up for developing an illegally acquired public land.

This is in sharp contrast to the fate that befell Taj Mall, Southend mall, Ukay Mall and part of Visa Oshwal all of which came tumbling down as state agencies moved in to demolish buildings erected on riparian and illegally acquired public land.

In the report, NLC pledges to regularize the Title Deed once Weston pays KCAA the current market price for the land.

The report signed by NLC vice chair Abigael Mbagaya reads in part that “Weston Hotel is required to pay the current market price of land to KCAA so as to enable it purchase land of equal value”.

Among iconic buildings that came tumbling down are Taj Mall, Southgate mall and Ukay among others.

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