Baringo county closer to acquiring Kabarnet Hotel

Kabarnet Hotel. [Yvonne Chepkwony, Standard]

The County Government of Baringo is negotiating with the national government to acquire a multi-million State-owned Kabarnet Hotel.

Last week, Governor Benjamin Cheboi held a consultative meeting with a technical team from Kenya Development Corporation (KDC) in Nairobi on the process of acquiring the hotel.

Cheboi said it was important for the county to acquire the property in efforts to expand and modernise the county headquarters office space to enhance service delivery for the people.

The 54-bed capacity hotel has a presidential suite.

“We want to acquire the hotel, to be owned by the county government. It will help us in expanding our offices. The hotel has a huge space that can be used in the construction of government offices for easy access,” the governor said.

He added negotiations with the State were ongoing to establish the current value of the property.

The governor noted that lack of space had forced the county to rent offices within the town even as the hotel hosted health offices.

“Currently, our Department of Health Services is housed within Kabarnet Hotel premises by leasing. This has been the case since the year 2015. Additionally, the County Department of Treasury is housed within the AFC building under the same terms among other departments which are either squeezed in terms of office space or lack of it at all,” Cheboi added.

Last year, the Privatisation Commission put into consideration the sale of government hotels, among them Kabarnet Hotel, Mt Elgon Lodge Ltd, and Sunset Hotel among others.

County Executive for Land and Urban Development Arch Reuben Rutto said the hotel had been closed since the Covid-19 outbreak, noting that the county government had initiated the process to acquire the property in January 2023 through correspondence to the KDA Director General.

A KDC official said the hotel has been under renovation since 2017 and confirmed that talks on the hotel between Baringo and the State agency were ongoing.