The hotel was commissioned as part of a network of state-owed hotels that have all collapsed
Section of Moi's forgotten 'mini state lodge' turned into village cowshed
Moi's getaway hotel where he escaped the hustle and bustle of the presidency is a now a shell of its former self.
The Kabarnet Hotel in Baringo County, which was once a favored spot for former President Daniel Arap Moi, has fallen into disrepair.
Located near the county government headquarters, the once-bustling hotel now lies abandoned and overgrown with weeds.
The hotel held special memories for the late President Moi, who had a state-of-the-art presidential suite constructed at the hotel's right-wing building.
It served as a mini "State Lodge" for him during visits to the town or board meetings at nearby schools where he served as the board chair.
Once managed by Africa Tours and Hotels and opened in 1982, the 54-room hotel boasted a conference hall, restaurant, bar, and lounge.
However, a recent visit by Nation.Africa revealed a grim state of affairs. The once lush compound is now a grazing field for local cows, with cow dung littering the floors.
One of the halls on the ground floor has been converted into a cow shed.
The hotel's swimming pool, once a popular spot for guests, is now overgrown with shrubs, indicating long neglect.
The main gate's security guard structure was locked and abandoned, while the gate was wide open.
According to Mr. Lee Njiru, the late President Moi's longtime aide, the hotel's origins can be traced back to a time when Moi needed a peaceful place away from constant phone calls at his Kabarak home.
Njiru suggested setting up a tent and a generator in a bushy area where Moi could rest peacefully, and that place is where Kabarnet Hotel now stands.
The hotel was originally constructed by the late Reuben Chesire, former chairman of the Kenya Tourism Development Corporation, as part of a plan to build state hotels across the country.
It was built at the spot where Moi had slept overnight in a tent, as a tribute to the former President.
During its prime, Kabarnet Hotel was a magnet for politicians and guests from far and wide who came to meet President Moi.
The facility was bustling with activity, and performing groups, including students, would come to sing and entertain the President. Moi's aides would also stay at the hotel during his visits.
However, in recent years, Kabarnet Hotel has fallen into neglect, with overgrown vegetation, broken windows, and abandoned structures. The hotel's financial challenges and lack of maintenance have led to its decline, and a section of it has now been turned into a cow shed by locals.
The dilapidated state of Kabarnet Hotel serves as a stark reminder of its former glory as a mini "State Lodge" for the late President Moi and a once-thriving hospitality facility.
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