Deputy President William Ruto has for the first time admitted that the land on which the Weston Hotel is built was illegally grabbed from a government firm – the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA).
DP Ruto confesses Weston Hotel was built on grabbed land in heated BBC interview
Ruto put on the spot
Ruto made the admission during an interview with BBC Hardtalk which will be aired on Tuesday evening.
He said he had purchased the land innocently but had since learnt that the sellers had illegally acquired it from KCAA.
“For the record, the National Land Commission has made a finding that Weston Hotel was an innocent purchaser for value from somebody who got it illegally and reparations have been made constitutionally to restore the land to KCAA, by requiring those who sold the land to us to pay the civil aviation authority,” Ruto stated.
The interview with veteran journalist Stephen Sackur was one of the most heated media events that the Deputy President has appeared in since taking office in 2013.
The moderator put the DP on the spot over why he has been ranked first as the person Kenyans perceive to be most corrupt.
“If you look at that Ipsos list that placed me as a leader perceived to be the most corrupt, it had William Ruto, a former president [Daniel Moi], the current president Uhuru Kenyatta, the former Prime Minister Raila Odinga… Largely, all the political leaders that exist today in Kenya were in that order. That tells you that the whole corruption narrative has been politicized,” he said.
It was then that Sackur moved to the question of Weston which the DP tried to pre-empt, saying, “you would want to believe that Weston Hotel occupies half of Nairobi. Weston Hotel sits on 0.7 hectares of land...”
He was cut short by the host who interjected by stating that Weston sits on illegally acquired land, “which actually belongs to the Civil Aviation Authority, and then you miraculously acquired it and built a hotel?”
It was then that the Ruto admitted the irregularities in how the land moved from being government-owned to its current status.
JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!
Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or: