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HomeinstitutionsDetails Of Iconic Sagana State Lodge And Why Moi Avoided It

Details Of Iconic Sagana State Lodge And Why Moi Avoided It

In his 5-day Mt Kenya tour this week, President Ruto is expected to chair a cabinet meeting and host a regional leaders conference at Sagana State lodge on Tuesday.

This will be his first visit to the iconic lodge since ascending to power 11 months ago.

Sagana State Lodge is located in Kiganjo town in Nyeri County, on the foothills of Mount Kenya. It is used by the President of Kenya when on official tours of the country.

The lodge is not a state house. State houses are only located in Nairobi, Mombasa, and Nakuru.

State lodges are located in Kisii, Eldoret, Kakamega, Rumuruti, Cherangany, Kitale, Sagana, and Kisumu. Most of them are located in secluded and scenic locations.

Sagana State Lodge is the most commonly used. It was renovated by former president Mwai Kibaki in 2003, spending ksh 67 million.

The lodge was built in 1949-1950 as a royal residence for Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. It was one of the 2,500 gifts given to the couple as a wedding present from the people of Kenya.

The lodge has a total of 12 bedrooms, a dining room, a conference room, and a swimming pool. It is surrounded by gardens and forests and offers stunning views of Mount Kenya.

Sagana State Lodge has been the site of many important meetings and events over the years.

In February 1952, Queen Elizabeth II was informed of the death of her father, King George VI, while she was staying at the lodge.

In 1963, the lodge hosted the Lancaster House Conference, which led to the independence of Kenya.

The lodge, along with other official residential sites of the president, were declared protected sites by the government in 1976.

However, it went into history books as the place where Moi was supposed to spend the night when he received news of an attempted coup to topple his government in 1982.

According to David Musila, former central province regional commander, Nyayo informed his close security associates to proceed with arrangements for the presidential visit at the lodge.

However, he never spent the night there. Musila narrated the story in his book ‘Seasons of Hope.

Back to Sagana Lodge. It historically hosted the meeting between former president Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga, culminating in the formation of a grand coalition government in the aftermath of the 2007 elections.

In recent years, Sagana State Lodge has been used by former President Uhuru Kenyatta to host political meetings and summits.

He also used it as the venue for the swearing-in of former Foreign Affairs CS Amina Mohammed.

The state-funded lodge hosts cutting-edge security features, hawk-eyed security guards, and recreational facilities.

It can accommodate over 5000 guests, as evidenced in 2021 when Uhuru hosted a convention of Mt Kenya leaders to discuss about the Building Bridges Initiative.

However, media personalities are often barred from accessing the lodge.