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KICC land under mysterious ownership

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Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) building [p/courtesy]

The ownership of the land on which the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) sits now remains uncertain after an audit report revealed that the prime land is not owned by the state agency that manages it.

Report by Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu shows that the title deed for the the land where KICC building stands is not registered in the name of the iconic building which is under the Tourism ministry.

But the report did not reveal the owner or the entity that owns the land which is valued at Sh2.29 billion.

“It has also been noted that the land in which Kenyatta International Convention Centre building stands is not registered in the name of the Corporation although its value has been included in the financial statements,” Gathungu stated.

The lack of the title deed has now exposed prime plots owned by the government or State corporations and public utilities including schools which always risk invasion by private developers and powerful land grabbers.

Kenya’s Auditor General, Nancy Gathungu [p/courtesy]

The findings by Ms Gathungu has reopened a twenty year old dispute over the ownership of the KICC building, which was initially claimed by the former ruling party KANU.

Kanu lost the ownership of the building in 2003 through what the then Tourism and Information minister Raphael Tuju termed an executive order but the party has continued to list the property as one of its assets in filings to the Registrar of Political Parties.

Kanu secretary-general Nick Salat had also claimed that the independence party had a title deed to the iconic building.

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But KICC which is one of the continents destinations for conferences was turned into a parastatal under the Ministry of Tourism and was  refurbished by the National Treasury.

The building is now playing host to several government offices, including those of Senators.

The Auditor General also found the Tourism ministry had not included the parking area as part of the land in its financial statements.

The land on which Garden Square Restaurant stands is also disputed by KICC and the County Government of Nairobi.

The valuation of the convention’s assets conducted in 2019 put the value of the KICC building at Sh1,664,800,000 while freehold land at its parking grounds was valued at Sh2.296 billion at end of June 2019.

The value of furniture at the 28 storey building was Sh21.5 million while office equipment was Sh55.3 million.

But Ms Gathungu revealed that the valuation amounts as detailed in KICC’s financial statements for the assets differ from the amounts in the valuation report by Sh1.3 billion.

“The valuer, who had been paid a total of Sh7.6 million, did not give a detailed report on how the valuation was undertaken and why the valuation, particularly the freehold land and buildings seem to be undervalued compared to the current market values,” she said.

 


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