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Firm that sold DP Ruto Weston hotel land speaks out

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A travel agency has defended the ownership of the piece of land on which Nairobi’s Weston Hotel stands, arguing that the title deed was acquired legally and that the airports regulator has no claim to the property.

In documents filed in court, Priority Limited says the title to the land was obtained in good faith, is legitimate and cannot be faulted through the petition or any other case.

Through the law firm of Katwa & Kemboy, the company says that being the registered owner of the parcel serves as conclusive evidence of ownership.

The company has further stated that the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority has no “worthy evidence,” to claim ownership of the land hosting hotel associated with Deputy President William Ruto.

KCAA has filed a suit in court seeking to reclaim the land and has opposed a deal between Weston and the National Land Commission (NLC) for the hotel to compensate the authority so that it can continue occupying the land.

In the case filed in June, KCAA said NLC did not have the jurisdiction to preside over the complaint on compensation for the land, and wants the hotel demolished and the property handed back to it.

Based on fraud

Priority Limited was allocated the land that was later transferred to Weston in a deal that KCAA says was based on fraud.

In response to the KCAA petition, Priority Ltd has denied allegations of fraud on the title, arguing that KCAA is yet to table documents in court as proof of the fraud.

The company has also contested KCAA demands for revocation of the title deed, arguing that the authority is motivated by ulterior motives.

Records at the registry show that Priority Limited is owned by Paul Chirchir and Mathews Otieno, and has filed with the State documents revealing who are its bankers, auditors and lawyers.

KCAA said under section 14 of the NLC Act, the commission’s mandate to review grants and terms of public land expired five years from commencement date of the Act, which was May 12, 2012.

It therefore argued that the commission’s mandate to review grants and dispositions of public land expired in May 2017.

Deal brokered

The agency filed the case to challenge the deal brokered between NLC and the owners of Weston Hotel.

“NLC had no powers to review grants and dispositions by January 25, 2019, which is more than one year eight months late. This suggests deliberate delay by the NLC to frustrate the KCAA,” reads part of the pleadings filed in court.

In the decision, delivered on January 25, 2019, NLC recognised and emphasised KCAA’s entitlement to the piece of land remained unchallenged and noted that Weston Hotel and the initial owners of the land, Priority Ltd and Monene Investments Ltd, irregularly procured the registration of the land. It then ordered the company to compensate KCAA.

But in the papers filed in court by James Orengo and Otiende Amollo, KCAA insists that it owns the land and any entity with a different title procured it through illegality, fraud and corruption.

BY Business Daily

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Intelligent Water Fountain Takes shape at Amani Ridge the Place of Peace

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As you drive into Amani Ridge the Place of Peace, you will be welcomed by a spectacular solar powered water fountain that is currently in the process of being installed.

This water feature will be an excellent landmark to look at as it greets you after a long tiring day. It is set to be decorated with live flowers and the water below will have live fish.

What’s more, the fountain will be lit at night to give it a splendid scenery for night lovers. This new feature which is being installed adjacent to the Wall of Wisdom is also surrounded by amazing landscaping and beautifully done flowers, pebbles and exotic trees. Watch this video expounding on this gated community’s architectural projections: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=os3nubny8Vg&t=1s

This water feature will truly be an attraction to all the Amani Ridge the Place of Peace residents and guests alike.

Visit Amani Ridge the Place of Peace and witness and enjoy the upcoming splendid feature.

We thank one of our customer, Eng. Gabriel Ndungu, CEO Noble Parks & Pools, who has taken this assignment with so much professionalism and passion. Watch video here for more information about this mesmerizing gated community: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoGdZijAbf4&feature=youtu.be

Gabriel is amongst other professionals who are at the frontline, to make Amani Ridge the Place of Peace, one of the best gated high end estate in East & Central Africa.

Want to be part of Amani Ridge the Place of Peace great experience? Get in touch with Optiven Today:

Contact Optiven Group: 0790 300 300 Email: admin@optiven.co.ke Website: www.optiven.co.ke

George Wachiuri Blog: www.georgewachiuri.com
YouTube: https://bit.ly/2VdSuFJ

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Foreign students rethink US business schools

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This summer, dozens of incoming students at New York’s Columbia Business School had planned to sail around the coast of Croatia for a week to get to know each other.

Instead, they are chatting online and playing icebreaker games on Zoom. With the coronavirus still spreading, social gatherings like the sailing trip organised by students are on hold, and there is a good chance that when school starts in September, many classes and events will be held online.

Columbia and other elite US business schools like Harvard Business School and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania have said they will likely move to a “hybrid” model of virtual and in-person learning. It is a far cry from the typical MBA experience which features close contact with fellow students, in-person networking events, trips overseas and lunch sessions with CEOs.

The changes have some students reconsidering the value of a degree that can cost upwards of $100,000 (Sh10 million) a year in tuition, housing and other fees.

International students, who make up roughly 35 per cent of the student body at most elite US business schools, are particularly unsure about the decision.

“The virtual environment might take away a chunk of the MBA experience,” said a 27-year-old student from China who was admitted to Wharton and is considering whether to defer for a year.

“That’s what a lot of people including myself are thinking through now,” said the student, who declined to be identified because of concerns about his visa status and employment prospects

. Education upended

The United States has been hard hit by the coronavirus outbreak, with more than 1.7 million cases and over 100,000 deaths.

Higher education has been upended with most schools sending students home in the spring and moving classes online. The US hosts over a million international students at its higher education institutions, according to the State Department data.

International candidates account for 36 per cent of people who enroll in full-time US MBA programmes, according to Graduate Management Admission Council, an association of business schools.

If institutions do not resume in-person learning, enrollment, particularly among international students, is likely to take a hit, according to a GMAC survey. Only 43 per cent of the international MBA candidates surveyed said they planned to enroll if programmes begin online. Forty-eight per cent of them indicated they would defer in that scenario.

By Standard Business

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Danger online as traffickers target helpless children

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International organisations have raised a red flag over the spike in online human trafficking and child exploitation as people spend more time at home.

With Covid-19 restrictions and more children spending more time online, human traffickers are using the opportunity to recruit, groom and exploit children and lure adults feeling the pinch of the emaciated economy as a result of the coronavirus.

The concern is even more real after a German was arrested on May 4 in Nairobi in the company of a 13-year-old boy alleged to have been trafficked from Nyalenda in Kisumu.

Thomas Scheller, 71, who is in Kenya illegally, beat all the travel restrictions to travel from Kwale to Kisumu and back to Nairobi.

The boy — one of his victims — was defiled between April 30 and May 4. It took the combined efforts and intelligence of Interpol and Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to nab the alleged trafficker classified as a serial offender. Scheller faces six counts of trafficking in persons, child pornography and defilement of five boys aged between 10 and 13.

Local and international organisations attribute the surge in online exploitation of children to the interruption of their physical learning and a change in their daily lives due to confinement affecting many parts of the world.United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) Regional Advisor Rachel Harvey estimates that a third of internet users are children, with internet usage increasing by half, following the stay-home orders adopted by most countries to help contain the spread of Covid-19.

Whereas the increase is positive for continuity of education and social life, Harvey warns that it has put children at risk of online sexual exploitation.

“Before Covid-19, it was estimated that there were 750,000 people looking to connect with children for sexual purposes online at any one time. Opportunity and triggers for offending created by containment are likely to have pushed up that number, as well as demand for child sexual abuse materials,” Harvey says.

With limited physical interaction, global trends further single out increased and growing demand for child abuse material. This has given traffickers opportunities to devise new avenues of animating the ‘lucrative’ business of sex tourism by leveraging on the online space to prey on susceptible and unwitting users.

Lawrence Okoth, Internet Crimes against Children Investigator, confirms the nerve-racking trend in Kenya, with the unit based in Nairobi receiving about 300 cases per month of child abuse material and messages meant to lure and recruit victims. “The numbers are quite high and many more actually are not being reported,” Okoth says.

The traffickers are tactical in their approach, hence the big and growing number of victims. Okoth says traffickers stalk their victims. First, they identify their vulnerabilities and then offer a shoulder to lean on and camouflaging as ‘good friends’ with ‘common interests’ such that sharing of nudes becomes easy.Inadvertently, victims find themselves entangled in a compromising and perilous situation.

“Traffickers build confidence with their victims online by sharing conversations that lead to connection and consequently detach their victims from their parents/guardians.

This connection paves way for physical connection offline. With the new-found ‘friendship’ as a stepping stone to invade the victim’s life, traffickers manipulate their victims and whenever their missions are not accomplished, the shared nudes and erotic videos become weapons of blackmail used to force them to comply with any sort of demands, which also include substance abuse.

“In most cases, the traffickers order the victim to recruit other students or their friends and with time, the chain grows and the number of victims multiplies,” Okoth says.

It has further been discovered that traffickers employ other tactics of observing current trends and creating links with names that children identify and relate with indubitably. “We have come across groups such as Class Eight Revision, KCPE 2020 Class and other names that children easily join without questioning their genuineness,” he says.

The bigger concern, Okoth says, is that children and youth are being recruited and exposed online without the knowledge of their custodians. Valiant Richey, Special Representative for Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), describes the scale as unimaginable and growing, with “traffickers recruiting children through many online venues, including social media, game platforms, and chat rooms. They will typically befriend the children, grooming them for sexual activity and then gradually exploit them in various ways.”

In Kenya, detectives have identified different locations in slums in Nairobi and Mombasa where traffickers congregate relatives (mostly children) in sneaky rooms and entice them into sex orgies for purposes of live streaming.

[The writer is a fellow of the 2020 Resilience Fund of the Global Initiative against Transnational Organised Crime]

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