NLC Escalates Payment Dispute With DP Ruto Over Weston Hotel Land
National Land Commission (NLC), on Tuesday, escalated the ongoing dispute between itself and Deputy President William Ruto over Weston Hotel Land.
Appearing on Citizen TV, the outgoing NLC vice chairperson Abigael Mbagaya revealed that the commission had directed for fresh land evaluation and that the DP would be expected to pay as per the prevailing land rates.
She gave the DP only two choices, either to settle the debt as per the current land rates or pursue his own seller over the matter.
Mbagaya further justified that the move would enable Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA), the agency which owned the piece of land and is in a dispute with Weston Hotel, to acquire land of similar size and value elsewhere.
"If he wants, he can go after the people who sold it to him... that’s what we are doing… you return it because it’s you we have caught on the ground then you chase whoever sold it to you to recover your money,” Mbagaya stated.
While denying that politics are at the centre of the dispute, the vice chair revealed that once the valuation was completed, the report would be shared with the public.
“How can there be a political influence when you are telling somebody to pay restitution to the people of Kenya?” she asked.
This stance comes days after Ruto finally admitted that Weston Hotel land was illegally acquired.
Speaking in an interview with BBC, he revealed that his team innocently bought the land from someone who had obtained it illegitimately.
"The National Land Commission (NLC) has made a finding that Weston was an innocent purchaser for value from somebody who got it illegally," stated the DP.
In 2018, the disputed piece of land was valued at Ksh300 million.
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