By Prudence Minayo
Ambassadeur Hotel is a prestigious hotel that opened its doors in 1961. As the then only upmarket ‘African’ hotel, it hosted presidents from East Africa including Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, senior government officials and civil servants. The 85-roomed hotel is situated at the heart of the city center near the landmark building, National Archives.
Its location is ideal for travellers who wish to spend a night in the city at affordable rates.
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Ambassadeur Hotel was acquired by the late Samuel Maina in 2004. Court documents fail to indicate whether he bought it from the founders, Gurcharan Singh Vohra and former Kirinyaga Central Member of Parliament John Ngata Kariuki. It also does not indicate the amount of money he paid to acquire the hotel.
Other businesses owned by the late Samuel Maina
Apart from the hotel, Mr. Maina had several other business interests in Nairobi and Murang’a all run under the firm Ambassadeur Investments Kenya Limited. They include shops, flats, and the Oil Libya Petrol Station in Spring Valley, Nairobi.
A house and shop in Mlango Kubwa, a stall in Kibera market, a bungalow in Buruburu Estate, Bilmas Hotel in Nairobi Central Business District, a building in Murang’a Gikoe Shopping Center and an undisclosed number of godowns in Athi River are also listed under the holding company.
Also Read: Hotels Owned By DP William Ruto
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The seven sons of the late Samuel Maina were locked in a vicious battle over the ownership of the multi billion real estate empire inherited from their father, including the Ambassadeur Hotel. Four of the brothers had accused their siblings of seizing control and locking them out of the profits realised from the business ventures.
The four are Francis Chege, Joseph Macharia, James Kihara and Dedan Muthaiga. They accused Stanley Kariuki, John Kaguma and Charles Kanyuga of appointing Paragon Property Consultants to collect rent from properties without consulting the other siblings yet they are all beneficiaries of the inheritance.
The four said they are all stakeholders and directors of the holding company that runs the family business but their three brothers had exclusively taken over rent collection. The brothers wanted the court to stop them from collecting rent until the suit for the disputed properties had been heard and determined.
In their defense, the three brothers argue that the four are not listed among the shareholders of Ambassadeur Investments Kenya Limited and thus have no right to interfere in the businesses’ affairs.
In 2012, the high court ordered 9 of the businesses in the family empire to be run by Lloyd Masika until the suit is head and determined. Justice Grace Nzioka had ordered all brothers to appear before her on 10th April 2017.
In 2012, the brothers had failed to agree on a firm to run Ambassadeur Investments prompting the judge to appoint Joseph Mutava to pick from a list of proposed asset managers.
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