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It's holiday for Uhuru after 20 years in murky world of politics

Former President Uhuru Kenyatta during Presidential William Ruto’s Inauguration ceremony at the MISC, Kasarani on September 13, 2022. [Kelly Ayodi, Standard]

Former president Uhuru Kenyatta is settling into his new life as a civilian at his 1,000-acre farm in Oloolmongi, Trans Mara, in Narok County. 

Uhuru, who served two terms as Kenya’s president, has settled into the big farm overlooking the Mara Triangle, which is in the southwestern part of the Masai Mara National Reserve. 

The Mara Triangle is managed by the not-for-profit organisation, The Mara Conservancy, on behalf of the County Government of Narok. 

While hyping the move by Uhuru to settle in his county, Narok Senator Ledama Ole Kina said Narok is a great place to live and do business, and the former Head of State is welcome. 

“We are happy he chose our county, and it shows that Narok is a great place. I am now Uhuru’s senator,” Ledama told The Standard. 

The scenic triangle occupies a third of the entire Masai Mara National Reserve which is less visited but boasts of a variety of wildlife all year round. 

This means Uhuru enjoys a prime viewing location of the herds of the great migration entering and exiting the Masai Mara from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. 

On a typical day, Uhuru will also have the serenity of the countryside away from the city pollution and distractions after 20 years of murky politics. 

The Narok house, now a cattle farm, was once a ranch operated by Olerien and the Kengani group and currently hosts hundreds of cows kept for meat. 

The son of Kenya’s founding president, Jomo Kenyatta, has also acquired the neighbouring parcel, on which he plans to set up a new tourist lodge. 

He quietly moved here after the smooth handover of power to President William Ruto on September 13 following the hotly contested general election. 

“We are waiting to share the proceeds of retirement, and they are many,” Ledama said. 

The former president is entitled to an attractive retirement package according to the Presidential Retirement Benefits Act. Uhuru will earn a lump sum payment of Sh34.5 million in gratuity, calculated as a sum equal to one year’s salary for each term served as president. 

Uhuru contested in the 2002 polls and lost to former president Mwai Kibaki. He later joined Kibaki in the 2007 polls to succeed him after the 2013 general polls. 

A stay in Narok means that Uhuru has snubbed his other homes, which include Ichaweri (Kiambu), the house next to the State House (Nairobi), Gicheha farm (Nakuru), Nyali residence (Mombasa), and abroad. 

Kibaki, who died at 90, also snubbed the Sh400 million retirement home in Mweiga, Nyeri, to live in Muthaiga, Nairobi, while Moi preferred Kabarak farm in Rongai instead of Kibera’s Kabarnet Gardens in Nairobi.

The son of Kenya’s first president has also been interacting with locals — mama mbogas, boda bodas, and herdsmen — for a drink, shopping, giving goodies, or taking evening walks in neighbouring villages. 

He has also been spotted at the world-famous Masai Mara on a game drive several times, including last Saturday. 

Uhuru, who makes limited visits to Nairobi to his new home in Karen to catch up with city friends and official functions, has kept a low profile, but at the game reserve, he appeared jovial in the company of friends.

He was seen wearing a casual look of khaki trousers, and also delivered a 53-seater bus to Partakilat Primary School in the county. 

Before he left office, officials from the national government in the Trans Mara sub-county told The Standard that the president had upgraded the area where his home is located into a sub-county. 

“We now have the Trans Mara South sub-county that was hived off from the Trans Mara West sub-county.”

“The newly elevated sub-county will soon be a constituency when the electoral agency does the delimitation of electoral boundaries,” said an administrator who did not wish to be named. 

The Standard has established that three primary schools were established in the new sub-county. 

“The Angama airstrip was also upgraded to accommodate commercial flights and the 16-kilometre Lolgorian to Kilgoris Road rehabilitated to bitumen standard,” added the administrator. 

The upgrade to bitumen of the 43-kilometre Kilgoris-Shartuka-Esoit-Murkan-Emurua-Dikirr roads, at Sh1.3 billion, which started soon after Uhuru was sworn into office for a second term, eased movement between the two sub-counties. 

“He started the international airport when he was the president, and it will help us grow. We are yet to fully interact, but soon he is expected to meet the elderly,” Ledama said. 

Uhuru, who has been enjoying his retirement a month after leaving office, was appointed by Ruto as the peace envoy for the Great Lakes Region and the Horn of Africa.