New twist as Ruto admits to owning part of Weston Hotel


Weston Hotel Nairobi on Langa’ata Road in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Deputy President William Ruto has admitted to owning Weston Hotel, months after a close ally and its lawyer denied that he holds any stake.

In an interview on Citizen TV, Mr Ruto admitted to having an interest in the hotel, contrary to claims by his ally Patrick Osero at the beginning of this year.

Mr Osero in January insisted he owns the hotel with two others, but denied that his friend, Mr Ruto, is one of them.

“Mr Ruto is not one of the shareholders,” he said in a phone interview with the Business Daily then.

Mr Ruto has been severally associated to the hotel, which has been linked to a controversial piece of land suspected to have been hived off Lang’ata Road Primary School; an assertion he denied.

“I have interests in Weston Hotel. Weston Hotel is completely different from Lang’ata Road Primary School. Each one has its own title. The title for Lang’ata Road Primary school is in court,” Mr Ruto said in the Tuesday night interview.

Mr Osero had in January said that the deputy president only visits the 120-room hotel which was opened in 2014 as his friend and customer.  He denied being a proxy saying, “You think I cannot own such a property? Why are Kenyans doubting?”

READ: Who is this businessman behind Weston Hotel?

The hotel’s lawyer, Ahmednasir Abdullahi had also dismissed Mr Ruto’s ownership claims, adding that he is not even a director of the hotel next to Wilson Airport. Mr Ruto on Tuesday dismissed the link between Weston and the adjoining 1.5-acre piece of land whose ownership status is in court.

“There is a person who owns the land on Lang’ata Road. He has not denied ownership,” he said. “He is not a ghost. He is not a foreigner. He is a Kenyan. He is in court. He is the owner of Airport View Limited, which owns an entire estate near Wilson Airport.”

At the height of the controversy in January, Lands secretary Charity Ngilu named four individuals whom she claimed own the piece of land that is also claimed to be the school’s playground.

Mr Ruto’s admission of ownership of the hotel is likely to put the spotlight back on the hotel with the land it sits on itself also said to have originally belonged to the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) and was grabbed in 2002.

The deputy president said that they did not buy the land from KCAA, but from people who had been allocated the land.

Mr Osero had said that he acquired the 1.7 acres of land where the hotel sits in 1998 from a company called Priority Limited and built the hotel last year.