In a move that is likely to spark outrage, revive the Hustler-Dynasty controversy and raise suspicion that powerful government insiders are speedily doing cleanup before next year’s change of guard in leadership, allies of the family of former president, Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi, are in the process of selling government owned assets.
The owners of InterContinental Hotel, which is also partly owned by the government, have put up thousands of movable properties on a fire sale as they prepare to lease out the building or convert it into a mixed-use property. These shareholders include allies of former President Daniel arap Moi, and his heir, Baringo senator Gideon Moi.
The hotel has put thousands of goods up for auction including vehicles, bedsheets, televisions, carpets, and kitchen equipment.
Garam auctioneers said they had received private instructions to put the hotel property up for sale.
There has been a long and sustained effort to get the Moi-linked group to buy the government stake in the now defunct hotel, but the group has so far turned down all previous offers.
This latest auction move by the hotel’s management is a clear indication that the management is keen on earning leasing fees from the 389-room InterContinental Hotel, whose sale of the government stake has dragged for more than a decade.
An investment banker close to the Moi-linked Sovereign Group said that the firm had little interest in purchasing the government stake amid the slump in the travel sector and the exit of the anchor partner — the IHG.
“There is little value for Sovereign to run the hotel. The land where the hotel sits is more important than the hotel,” said the investment banker who requested not to be identified.
The Privatisation Commission was expected to start talks with Sovereign Group to buy the stake that the government holds in the hotel.
But the commission, which is in charge of the sale of government firms, said it had yet to receive offers from local or foreign buyers willing to acquire the stake in the hotel, which closed in August at the height of the Covid-19 crisis.
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