Former president Mwai Kibaki has finally moved into his Sh400 million retirement home in Mweiga.
Kibaki who in one of his hilarious public engagements said: “I’m a town fella,” seems to have gone against his words, especially after his recent hospitalisation in South Africa, and the passing on of the First Lady Lucy Kibaki.
Sources told The Nairobian that Kibaki spends two or three days a week at his Mweiga home before returning to his Muthaiga home in the city.
For the first time, last weekend, Kibaki a devout Catholic, attended Sunday mass at Our Lady of Consolata Cathedral in Nyeri town. After the church service, the former president, who did not address the congregation, was driven back to Mweiga.
“Before, he would only visit the home for a few hours and drive back to Nairobi. But now, he is spending the nights in this house,” an employee at the home told The Nairobian, adding that: “ We are now very busy, as the old man can pop in anytime.”
Kibaki’s motorcade consisting of his official vehicle and chase cars have been sighted in Nyeri town as it makes way to the home located 15 kilometres from the town.
The house was ready for occupation by the time Kibaki’s presidency ended in March 2013. Plans to construct the house that would give Kibaki a restful retirement started in 2010 when the president travelled to Nyeri to identify the land where it would stand.
After identifying the land at the expansive Sasini estate just outside Nyeri town, construction of the mega house started in earnest.
During final years of his presidency, Kibaki would pop in to check the progress of construction.
The red-tiled house is an elegant country house perched on a high point with a sweeping view of both spectacular Mt Kenya and the Aberdare Ranges.
The magnificent house along the Nyeri-Nyahururu road is like a mini State House, complete with a helipad and all that comes with the trappings of power.
The dark gray gates manned by General Service Unit (GSU) officers and the splendid security lights standing conspicuously at the entrance are what can be visible from the outside.
The house is located inside a deeply forested area with only the red-tiled roof visible by motorists plying the busy road.
It is surrounded by a well-manicured hedge and an electric fence that separates it from the Sasini estate famed for its dairy products.
The house, next to Mweiga airstrip, is not easily noticeable, save for the presence of the hawk-eyed GSU officers manning the gate.
It has two gates and a tarmacked driveway.
The property straddles a 100-acre piece of land, which is part of the 1,000-acre land belonging to Sasini Mweiga estate.
“The home has a swimming pool, jacuzzi and other modern facilities. It is ready for use,” an employee said.
Aside from the main house, the 100-acre compound has a guest house, security offices, secretariat office and a canteen for employees. The compound also has special grounds that can sit 500 people. Kibaki has other homes in Nairobi’s Muthaiga area and at his Kanyange village in Othaya.