As the sun was setting on Mwai Kibaki’s presidency, the government offered to build him a retirement home in his Nyeri backyard.Plans to construct the house started in 2010 when President Kibaki travelled to Nyeri to identify the land where it would stand.
After identifying the piece of land on the expansive Sasini estate, just outside Nyeri town, construction of the mega house started .The Sh400 million home, located in Mweiga, was completed by the time Kibaki left office in March 2013. But Kibaki, who has publicly stated that ‘he is a town fella’, never settled in the house, and rarely visits his rural home in Othaya.
According to some workers and security personnel seconded to the home, Kibaki has not stepped there since the beginning of the year.
The late immediate former first lady Lucy Kibaki never settled in that house either though she visited the magnificent home while it was still under construction and after completion.Her children would pop into the residence once in a while.
The Mweiga mansion which is essentially deserted along the Nyeri-Nyahururu road is a mini State house completed 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 imposing security lights at the entrance are what can be seen from the outside.
The house is located in a deeply-forested area with only the red-tiled roof visible to motorists along 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 palatial house next to Mweiga airstrip has two gates and a tarmacked driveway. It is built on 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. Aside from the main house, the 1000-acre compound has a guest house, security offices, secretariat offices and a canteen for employees.The compound also has special grounds that can sit 500 people.
Kibaki has other homes in Muthaiga,Nairobi and at his Munyange village in Othaya.