Kenya’s third president the late Mwai Kibaki never moved to his Ksh400 million government-built home in Nyeri following his retirement.
In 2011, two years before his retirement, the government embarked on constructing a befitting retirement home for him in his hometown, Mweiga which is about 15 kilometers from Nyeri town.
The house sits on a 100-acre piece of land along the Nyeri—Nyahururu highway.
It was perceived that once he handed over power to the new President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2013, he would have been airlifted to the newly built house; however, he surprised many as he opted to retire to his personal home in Muthaiga, Nairobi
While Kenyans expected retired President Kibaki to retire to his Mweiga residence in Nyeri County, those close to him previously revealed that he’s never been a shags person. When he goes to shags in Mweiga, Nyeri County, people rarely know as it’s done privately and “in any case, he wouldn’t go to eat mutura at the local shopping centre,” said a family friend. What Kenyans don’t understand is that Muthaiga is leafy, expansive and has chirping birds on trees, just like any shags and so Kibaki doesn’t have to go there.
“He is a very, urbane and cosmopolitan person,” our source explained.
“We asked him if he would retire in Nyeri and he asked if we expected him to leave Nairobi, who will be left behind,” Kioni recalled, adding that though he’s often seen in Nyeri, it does not mean he has relocated.
According to one of his long-time friends, the late Njenga Karume, in his book ‘Beyond Expectations: From Charcoal to Gold” said during their youthful years, they would sometimes enjoy drinking sprees in bars in the city as well as in Kiambu where the former Kiambaa MP lived.
“When he is in Nyeri, he goes to Mweiga. I have never heard of him going to Othaya,” Kioni revealed.
The house, next to Mweiga airstrip, is not easily visible to the public. It is on a gradual dip behind a wall of cypress and pine trees, with a long driveway from the main gate, and is guarded 24 hours by General Service Unit officers. Former Nyeri County Council chairman Wachira Maina who lives in the same neighbourhood, says it is hard to tell when the retired president is in the area unless he leaves the house for church.
He was accorded a state funeral service today, on 29th April 2022 at Nyayo Stadium. An event that was attended by government officials led by President Uhuru Kenyatta and first lady Margaret Kenyatta as well as other dignitaries such as South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa, his South Sudan counterpart Salva Kiir Ethiopia’s President Sahle-Work Zewde, and former Malawi President Joyce Banda.