Corridors Of Power

Weston Hotel Is The Milestone On DP Ruto’s Neck That Will Sink His Presidential Ambitions

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You haughtily buy land. You harvest ‘Bonga’ points from friends. You build another concrete edifice – a stubborn tribute to power and money which have come your way in torrents.

This also adds to your deposits in the bank of power and influence. For in Kenya, there is a “positive” image dazzling from the confluence of power and money.

Then one day it is revealed the land was stolen, Kenya’s reference to illegally acquired land. The timing of the disclosure is horrible.

It comes after the triumph at the ICC and two electoral victories. In your own words, the Presidency is as close as the nose is to the mouth.

There is also the feeling President Uhuru Kenyatta has decided to bite the bullet to reclaim the balance of his legacy. In town, there are three new enforcers of order and discipline; the elevated Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, the head of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti, and the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji and the behind-the-scenes meticulous outfit, the Philip Kameru-led National Intelligence Service.

Still, on the timing, familiar faces most likely outstanding on your phone book, at the Kenya Pipeline, Kenya Power, KeBS and NCPB have been hounded out of office, given a taste of police cells and the cold wooden benches in court.

All around, you are battling claims that you either are corrupt, which is inevitably an unavoidable consequence of public scrutiny since you are aspiring to rule Kenyans or have a close affinity to those that are corrupt. Or that you simply are an unlucky person against whom the gods have conspired to give the nasty image of insatiable acquisitions.

Then amid the swirling storm, it turns out, discerning from the grievances of your allies, there is trouble in the Jubilee paradise and they suspect it is your boss who is cunningly stoking some fires under your seat whilst giving you the hi-five salute when you happen to be around.

Of course, according to the script, this is one delicate balance you have to maintain because antagonising him could burn the bridges you need to walk on into the Central Kenya vote basket come 2022.

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Then out of the blue, focus shifts to the concrete tower you built on the main road to your palatial city residence. Your argument; just like a leaf of the Adrian Muteshi land files, is that you too were duped and are an innocent buyer. Whereas the properties of all the others are lying in ruins, you insist that for your case the ‘vendor’, Priority and Monene, should compensate Kenya Civil Aviation Authority Sh.300 million that the National Land Commission recommended as compensation for forfeiture of the land.

Now, this is the catch; for the other minions, the properties were flattened. But for you, well Weston Hotel has to stand on the 0.733ha piece of land, while the vendor compensates KCAA at a higher value than that which he received from you as buying price.

As to whether it is a fair thing to ask His Excellency William Ruto to allow for the hotel to be demolished, that issue does not arise if precedent is to be followed.

But in a way, it does arise when we consider the fact that Dr. Ruto has put his foot forward as that trusted hand who should be entrusted with running Kenya after President Kenyatta – not so much as reciprocation for his support for him, but on merit.

It is because of this that Dr. Ruto’s conscience should be troubled by Weston Hotel, not so much because he thinks those irked by his hold on to it are jealous, but because he owes Kenyans the best example on what to do about illegally acquired property.

If he thinks he does not, then he has yanked the red carpet off President Kenyatta’s and Jubilee’s feet on the high moral ground from which the President has been breathing fire and brimstone against the corrupt.

Not that Ruto will let go of Weston, that he won’t for sure, that is not him. And neither will Kenyans stop hanging the millstone of Weston around his neck as he tries to swim through Kenya’s turbulent sea of politics where a zillion crocodiles lie in wait.


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