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Gideon Moi shows how not to mix business and friendship, leaves Uhuru hanging



Whether validly or not, Gideon Moi is considered an inexperienced and inept politician. However, if ongoing events in the corporate world are anything to go by, then the Moi scion is proving that what he lacks in politics, he has made up for in business acumen. Despite the fact that Gideon Moi is a known close friend of the president, and their friendship goes back to their school days in Saint Mary’s, a business group linked to the KANU chairman has nevertheless launched a hard-nosed onslaught that is set to complicate plans for the government, and his close friend Uhuru.

 


The owners of InterContinental Hotel, including allies of former president Daniel arap Moi, are considering leasing out the building or converting it into a mixed-used property, complicating the State’s efforts to sell its 33.8 percent stake in the five-star hotel.


Kenya Hotel Properties (KHP) is seeking a consultant to advise on change of business model for the hotel, which closed permanently in August last year, to include a mixed-use approach —signalling the hotel building could be converted to office blocks, shops and mini-hotels.
It is also open to selling or leasing the InterContinental hotel building to the government, which owns several buildings in the vicinity including Parliament, KICC and Sheria House.
The permanent closure and the decision of global chain InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) to stop running the Nairobi hotel has downgraded its value.


“Define the various strategic options available for the company premises and adjacent parking silo to repurpose the property to ensure maximum returns on investment,” said KHP in a notice seeking consultants.
“To envision and evaluate a mixed-use approach to the premises together with the pros and cons associated therewith.”


This signals that KHP 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 earlier 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 compared to the hotel,” said the investment banker who requested not to be identified.

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    Written by Joshua Wanga

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