Inside Billionaire Gakuyo's Multi-million Hotel

Controversial bishop David Kariuki Ngari, well known as Gakuyo, is a man of many riches despite the unending dissensions that emerged after the collapse of Ekeza Sacco which he is the founder.

Before financial woes knocked his door, Gakuyo had been able to acquire valuable assets, among them the multi-million Hotel Lillies in Juja, Kiambu County.

The hotel which is built along Sunrise Street is also a few metres from Thika Superhighway, making it an eatery of preference on the basis of its proximity.

Bishop David Kariuki Ngari during a church service at Calvary Chosen Temple on January 23

Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology is also a few metres away from the hotel.

With a state of the art model, the hotel also contains rooms that range from the middle class and high-class status.

After the financial crisis that rocked the former man of the cloth in January 2018, pressure mounted on him to sell his assets in order to refund cash that he owed to members of his sacco.

In January 2019, Gakuyo published a notice in the local dailies with an intention to sell his assets including the Hotel Lillies.

However, the commissioner of co-operatives moved to court in February 2019  and stopped the preacher from selling the hotel, stating that the sale could jeopardise the inquiry into the sacco which had deposits in excess of Ksh2.56 billion.

Gakuyo also intended to sell other assets including Salama House in Nairobi, Swift Breeze Hardware on Garissa Road, a quarry in Murang’a and 250 acres of land in Murang’a County.

On January 14, the sacco started plans of refunding Ksh2.4 billion owed to members as deposits that were allegedly misappropriated under the chairmanship of Gakuyo.

Through an advert on local dailies and local radio and TV stations, the troubled sacco listed names of members expected to receive their refunds, marking a beginning of the end of a long-time tussle between the over 78,000 members and Gakuyo.

Those targeted for refunds had saved Ksh 1,600 up to Ksh 77,000 in deposits.

The chairman announced a five-phase refund plan in May 2019, starting with members who had the least savings.

Gakuyo, who is a bishop and founder of the Calvary Chosen Temple Church, also ventured into politics in 2017 where he took part in the formation of the United for Kiambu movement that helped former Governor Ferdinand Waititu clinch power.

A photo of Hotel Lillies in Juja, Kiambu County

A photo of Hotel Lillies in Juja, Kiambu county

A photo of Hotel Lillies in Juja, Kiambu county