Notice on Weston Hotel Acquisition Fake - Ministry of Lands

  • A notice that has been trending on social media the better part of Tuesday morning, May 18, has been flagged off as fake by the Ministry of lands and Physical Planning.

    The fake notice had indicated that the Ministry was reclaiming over 2,700 acres of land illegally allocated to private developers within Nairobi.

    One of the listed properties was Weston hotel which is owned by Deputy President William Ruto.

    DP William Ruto address at Gusii Stadium, Kisii County on October 20, 2020.
    DP William Ruto address at Gusii Stadium, Kisii County on October 20, 2020.
    PSCU

    "Please note that the purported notice below that has been doing rounds on social media is fake," the ministry clarified in a statement. 

    Additionally, the ministry reminded Kenyans that official communication by the was only shared through its verified social media accounts or that of the Cabinet Secretary.

    Ruto's Weston Hotel, the most visible in the fake list, is the subject of an active court case where the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) is seeking to acquire back the land where the establishment is built. 

    The DP has claimed that he was an innocent buyer and was unaware that the persons who sold him the contested piece of land had stolen it from the government.

    In court, his hotel has offered to buy back the land, although KCAA insists on demolishing the building and have their land for different use. 

    Digital strategist Brian Muuo told Kenyans.co.ke in a previous interview that it was easy for scammers to make fake statements of companies, once they mastered their letterheads. 

    "Once rivals of a particular business or person make the fake statement, they post on social media accounts with many followers, a negative statement can ruin a person's or businesses' reputation," he stated.

    The government is moving to curb the spread of fake news, especially on social media platforms by stipulating stiff penalties for anyone found guilty of the crime.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta enacted the Computer and Cybercrimes Bill, 2017 providing a two-year jail term or Ksh5 million fine for spreading fake news in early 2020.

    “A person who intentionally publishes false, misleading or fictitious data or misinforms with the intent that the data shall be considered or acted upon as authentic, with or without any financial gain, commits an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding five million shillings or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or to both,” reads clause 12 of the new law.

    A photo of the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning headquarters in Nairobi.
    A photo of the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning headquarters in Nairobi.
    Facebook