Rich History of Uhuru's Ksh700 Million Private Home

  • An ariel view of President Uhuru Kenyatta's house next to State House
    An ariel view of President Uhuru Kenyatta's house next to State House
    File
  • President Uhuru Kenyatta’s house neighbouring State House was demolished to pave way for the construction of a modern mansion befitting a sitting Head of State. 

    The deconstruction brought an end to the relic that has been a kingly bungalow built during the colonial days along with its rich history.

    Bequeathed by his late father Jomo Kenyatta, the home was once called Caledonian House due to its prominence along the Dennis Pritt Road, formerly known as Caledonian Road.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta's familiy
    President Uhuru Kenyatta's familiy
    File

    According to historical memoirs, before the late Mzee Kenyatta owned it, the house belonged to His Highness The Aga Khan IV, also known as Prince Karim and his father before that.

    The house was an heirloom of the Aga Khan family and was given to Uhuru’s father as an independence gift just a week before Kenya's independence day.

    According to the late veteran politician Martin Shikuku, the house gift also came with a Ksh1 million donation that Kenyatta guarded jealously.

    Prince Karim (Aga Khan IV) spent his early childhood in Kenya with his younger brother, Prince Amyn.

    The two children were raised in Kenya by their mother Princess Joan, following the advice of His Highness Aga Khan III.

    Historical author Willie Frischauer in his book, The Aga Khans stated that the bungalow was a perfect residence, with a jungle garden full of parakeets and budgerigars, tennis court, and vast lawns.

    Prince Karim would later become a prominent member of Kenya’s elite class, and his contribution to Kenya social-economic development endeared him to the founding father.

    In a 2010 book titled The Birth of a Nation: The Story of a Newspaper in Kenya, Gerard Loughran, a former senior editor at the Daily Nation, explains that Prince Karim was very tactical in thwarting Kenyatta’s efforts to control Nation Media Group which he founded.

    Kenyatta had requested the appointment of his nephew Ngengi Muigai as the company’s chair, but Prince Karim explained that the public confidence in media would be heavily dented.

    The Aga Khan IV also proposed selling the firm to the president if he so wished, but insisted that the head of state would make a better legacy by cementing independence of the media.  

    President Uhuru Kenyatta with His Highness the Aga Khan at State House, Nairobi.
    President Uhuru Kenyatta with His Highness the Aga Khan at State House, Nairobi.
    File