Economy Politics

DP Ruto ready to pay for second time to keep Weston Hotel Land

DP Ruto Wants State Agency To Abandon Quest To Recover Weston Hotel Land, Wants To Pay For It A Second Time

weston hotel
Weston Hotel/courtesy

Deputy President William Ruto has sought to have a state agency abandon its quest in recovering the land on which Weston Hotel sits on and instead accept payment for it.

According to the Standard, Ruto has urged the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) to finish negotiations for compensation of the land as directed by the National Land Commission (NLC).

Apparently, Weston Hotel Limited did a new filing before the July 29 hearing date which will see it conclude negotiations that will determine how much it will pay KCAA for the 0.773-hectare that is opposite Wilson Airport.

Initially, the Hotel had argued that it was the legitimate owner of the parcel of land hence the directive to compensate the government would be unfair and unjust enrichment of the State agency.

Consequently, a fresh valuation of the land is to be done which will determine how much Ruto was to pay NLC so as to regularize the Title to Weston Limited.

Weston through lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi now wants the court to strike out the case citing that KCAA has not exhausted the remedies offered by the commission. Weston accuses KCAA of filing multiple claims over the property in different forums thus abusing the court process.

For example, Weston Limited argues that KCAA’s case does not have a serious purpose since it failed to exhaust the available remedies as the claims were filed in different forums contrary to the principle that states a person challenging a decision must first pursue the available solutions offered to him/her before seeking a review or setting them aside.

“While appreciative of the substance of the subject matter herein and in cognisance of the adjudication process that had already been undertaken by the first respondent (NLC) in relation to the subject matter, the second respondent (Weston Hotel) prays for stay and or dismissal of the petition herein,” the application filed on June 16 is quoted by the publication.

It further reads, “The Constitution and the relevant statutes set out a detailed procedure and process for seeking redress, and the petitioner has already pursued that process and procedure half-way. It is in contention of the second respondent that the procedure and process are mandatory, and this honourable court is lawfully obliged to order the petitioner to finalise and or pursue that process and procedure to the end.”

According to lawyer Ahmednasir, the land dispute was already settled by the commission and the only available approach for Wilson Airport is to approach the court through filing an appeal and not a fresh suit.

A firm alleged to have been the initial owner of the contested land, Priority Limited also echoed the new application by Weston Hotel Limited stating that the case had already been prosecuted.

Priority Limited through its lawyer Katwa Kigen argued that KCAA already prosecuted the case against Weston before NLC could obtain a valid judgement.

“The petitioner’s claim is res judicata in toto in the face of lack of an appeal from the NLC’s adjudication and the decision of the selfsame dispute. The petitioner’s petition is an abuse of the court process, including the proceedings available at the NLC,” reads Priority’s reply filed on July 1.

KCAA through its lawyers Otiende Omollo and Stephen Ligunya has however maintained its stand that its only desire is to get back to its land.

In June 2019, KCAA moved to the Lands and Environment Court in a suit filed by lawyers Otiende Amollo and James Orengo challenging a deal brokered NLC in which Ruto was required to compensate KCAA.

On January, NLC had recommended that the DP “pays the current market price of land to KCAA so as to enable it to purchase land of equal value.”

Africa News Politics

Tanzania Bans Domestic Broadcasters From Airing Foreign-made Content Without State Permission

President John Magufuli. PHOTO/ COURTESY

The Tanzanian government has banned all domestic licensed broadcasters from carrying foreign-made content without state permission.

The new directive is part of the revised guidelines issued by the country’s Communications Regulatory Authority.

After obtaining permission to air content from international media houses like BBC, DW and CNN, the authority details that the licensed broadcasters will take responsibility for any content deemed “unsuitable”.

“Baada ya kupata kibali cha kujiunga na mtoa huduma mwingine wa maudhui. Mwenye leseni atawajibika kwa maudhui yoyote yasiyozingatia sheria na kanuni izi,” the government said.

The new regulations further require a government official to accompany any local journalist when covering a story with a foreigner.

To further regulate the media in the country, the authority further defined watershed period as hours from 12.00am to 5am. This is the period when broadcasters can air content only suitable for adults.

The authority stated that the new regulations are aimed at l”improving content” local content.

“Kanuni hizo zimelenga kuboresha huduma za maudhui ya Redio na Televisheni pamoja na usimamiza wake kutokana na uzoefu uliopatikana kwa kipindi cha miaka miwili toka kanauni za zamani zilipoanza kutumika mwaka 2018, ” the authority added.

Failure to adhere to the regulations, the government said, licensed media houses shall be fined.

Some of the journalists working with foreign media houses termed the new regulations as punitive and aimed at restricting international media from covering the October General Elections.

President John Pombe Magufuli is seeking re-election and will be facing off with renowned opposition chief Tundu Lissu.

The Magufuli-led regime has been accused of having taken control of the local media by frustrating journalists who dare to question the government.

Magufuli has also been criticized over attempt to stifle opposition through intimidations and arrests.

“Tanzania will hold its elections in October. Under the new law, foreign correspondents cannot work with local journalist and fixers – unless a government official is with them wherever they go, ” BBC journalist Ferdinand Omondi tweeted.

He added, “The Tanzanian government has already cracked down on domestic journalists. They have been intimidated, banned, and even jailed. Now, it seems state is training guns on the foreign press, seeking total control of the content Tanzania citizens consume.”