The iconic Kenyatta International Convention Center (KICC) is one of the tallest and the oldest multi-purpose buildings in Kenya’s history.
It was commissioned by Kenya’s first president in 1967. It was designed by David Mutiso who is deemed the first Kenyan architect.
However, tough questions regarding the ownership of KICC land on which this building stand remains unanswered 53 years later.
KANU party previously listed it as one of its assets but was flushed out in 2013 by Raphael Tuju following an executive order. The party claimed ownership of KICC land which is valued at 2.29 billion alongside other assets.
According to today’s Standard Newspaper, the auditor general has revealed that KICC land is owned by an individual whose identity is yet to be made public.
Nancy Gatungu claims that the building ought to be registered as a state asset under the ministry of tourism.
Land titles are crucial documents that guarantee an individual the freedom to carry out any development on it without any fear or doubt.
Ms. Gathungu says that despite a letter from the Chief of Staff and Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua to the Lands Cabinet Secretary clarifying that the land in dispute had since been gazetted as a national monument and a part of KICC, the management had not acquired a title deed.
“In addition, the Cabinet Secretary was directed to urgently issue ownership documents to the corporation. The above notwithstanding, management has not availed any proof that such title documents have been acquired,” the audit report says.
The valuation of KICC assets that was conducted in 2019 returned the value of Sh4.04 billion for property, plant, and equipment.
It put the value of the 28-story building at Sh1,664,800,000 while freehold land at KICC’s parking grounds was recorded as worth Sh2.296 billion at end of June 2019.
The value of furniture was Sh21.5 million and office equipment Sh55.3 million.
Ms. Gathungu says the valuation amounts as detailed in KICC’s financial statements for four categories of 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,” the Auditor-General says.