Who owns KICC? Auditor General reveals Gov't is not named in title deed

Auditor General revives debate on who owns KICC

The Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC)

Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu has revealed that the government of Kenya is not the owner of the land where 28-storey Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) stands.

In her latest report, Gathungu has revealed that the state corporation as well as the Garden Square Restaurant believe to be part of KICC have title deeds which read a different name from that of the government.

While withholding the name on title deed, the Auditor General flagged the apparent oversight noting that the prime property has been valued at Sh2.29 billion.

Gathugu noted that KICC administration does not list the building's parking lot, the Jomo Kenyatta monument nor the contested Garden Square spaces as part of KICC land.

The ownership of Garden Square Restaurant has been in contest where KICC lays claim to it and the Nairobi County government also claims ownership.

A letter by Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua had directed the Ministry of Lands to gazette the Garden Square land as a national monument belonging to KICC.

The Auditor General's report, however, confirmed that the gazettement and issuance of title to the restaurant's management was yet to be done.

KANU lists KICC as part of its assets

Further raising confusion over the ownership of the land is the Kenya African National Union (KANU) party which lays claim to the historic landmark.

KANU claims KICC as one of the party's assets despite having been forcefully evicted from the building in 2013.

In documents filed with the Registrar of Political Parties, KANU insists that it is the legitimate owner of the multi-billion property claiming that it holds the title deed to KICC.

"The valuer, who had been paid a total of Sh7.6 million, did not give a detailed report on how the valuation was undertaken and why the valuation, particularly the freehold land and buildings seem to be undervalued compared to the current market values," Gathungu's report concluded.

History of KICC

Formerly known as the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, KICC is one of Africa's prime conferencing facilities having hosted a number of international trade and tourism conferences.

It currently also hosts offices for members of the Senate in addition to hosting other government offices.

Before erection of Teleposta Towers, it had been the highest building in Kenya. The position has since been taken by Britam Towers as of 2020 while KICC remains the ninth tallest building in the city.

It was commissioned by Kenya's first president, Jomo Kenyatta in 1967 and after three phases of construction, it was officially opened in September 1973.

KICC would later be named as a state corporation under the Tourism Act, 2011 that came into operation on 1 September 2012. The building's name was changed in 2013 as it marked 40 years since opening.

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