Swazuri distances self from NLC decision that prevented demolition of Weston Hotel


Swazuri distances self from NLC decision that prevented demolition of Weston Hotel
NLC Chairman Muhammad Swazuri speaks on Citizen TV's Day Break show on January 30, 2019.

In Summary

  • This comes after NLC last week ordered for a revaluation of the DP Ruto affiliated establishment to establish its current market price to enable it officially buy the land from KCAA as reimbursement.
  • The decision caused public uproar with Kenyans questioning why Weston Hotel was not demolished as has been the case with other buildings built on public or riparian land.
  • Mr. Swazuri however, speaking on Citizen TV’s Day Break show on Wednesday, stated that the decision was made in his absence.

National Land Commission (NLC) Chairman Muhammad Swazuri on Wednesday distanced himself from a recent decision that spared Weston Hotel from demolition.

NLC last week ordered for a revaluation of the land on which the hotel sits to establish its current market price to enable it (Weston Hotel) officially buy the land from the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) as reimbursement.

The decision caused public uproar with Kenyans questioning why Weston Hotel, which is associated with Deputy President William Ruto, was not demolished as has been the case with other buildings built on public or riparian land.

Mr. Swazuri however, speaking on Citizen TV’s Day Break show on Wednesday, stated that the decision was made in his absence.

The NLC boss, whose term ends on February 19, 2019, instead tossed blame to his Vice Chair Abigael Mbagaya whom he accused of approving and signing the decision without consulting him.

“I was charged on August 13, 2018 and, through some technicalities, was bundled out of office until November 30.  The rest of the commission adjudicated on that matter during that time and they made a decision in my absence,” said Mr. Swazuri.

“I really do not know the proceedings because I was out of office for two and a half months and I was not privy to the discussion that went on; even the person who signed that decision is not me. I am the one who should sign ordinarily but the person who signed is the Vice Chair.”

Mr. Swazuri further defended his tenure in office saying he believes his team has done “very well, extremely well, under the circumstances.”

“We have renewed and extended leases, 1254 cases; we have approved subdivision and amalgamation of public land, 3046 cases; we have approved change/extension of user from residential to commercial and otherwise, 1658; we have facilitated of building plans through the counties, 2700 of them; we have allocated public land, and many others,” said Mr. Swazuri.

The outgoing NLC Chairman, who also has a case to answer in court, urged the public to consider government officials arraigned as innocent until proven guilty by the legal system without subjecting them to ridicule.

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