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Lucy Weru: The Owner of Multi-Million Karatina Tourist Lodge Who Kicked Out Raila Odinga From Her Hotel

Lucy Weru is a businesswoman and is the proprietor of Karatina Tourist Lodge in Nyeri County.

She made headlines in the run up to the 2007 general elections when she kicked out ODM leader Raila Odinga and his team from her business premises.

In this article, WoK revisits the incident where Ms Weru kicked the former premier of Karatina Tourist Lodge, and also profiles the life of Ms Weru.

File image of businesswoman Lucy Weru. |Photo| Courtesy|
File image of businesswoman Lucy Weru. |Photo| Courtesy|

Background & family

Ms Weru is a Nyeri businesswoman and mother in law to flamboyant city lawyer Donald Kipkorir.

Kipkorir is engaged to Noni Weru, Ms Weru’s daughter. The city lawyer has been dating Noni for over two years and recently proposed to her during a flight to Denmark.

Her husband is deceased and was a former chairman of the Karatina Town Council.

Ms Weru has two other daughters who are married to well known individuals. One is married to retired President Mwai Kibaki’s son David Kagai and the other is married to accomplished tennis player and former People Daily journalist Bedan Mbugua. He is the father to musician Kanji Mbugua.

Also Read: Moses Kuria: How Raila Odinga Ensured Gatundu South MP Got An Education After Being Kicked Out Of School

Wealth

Ms Weru is a wealthy individual. Her family owns a number of properties in Karatina Town including Karatina Tourist Lodge and Maathai Supermarkets.

She also owns the building that houses Ramogi Studios in Nairobi CBD. Ms Weru resides in Karishen area in Kieni. The Kibaki family also own a farm in then area.

Kicking out Raila and his team

The incident occurred on August 20, 2007, when Odinga in the company of then close allies, Joseph Nyaga, Reuben Ndolo and activist Mumbi Ng’aru attended the burial of Peterson Kaburu, at Mwanda village, Nyeri County.

The leaders then proceeded to the Karatina Tourist Lodge where they had intended to have lunch.

As they settled down to eat, Ms Weru appeared and started shouting at them, ordering them to leave.

“Who brought you here? We do not want ODM here. Can you please leave now? We do not want your money.”

She ordered her staff at the lodge to ensure that the former Prime Minister and his team had vacated the premises.

“Waambie watoke. Na hata akiwa rais asinisaidie” (Tell them to get out and even if he becomes president I do not want his assistance).”

Odinga and his team were shocked by the developments even as they hurriedly left the premises all while Ng’aru pleaded with Ms Weru to allow them leave peacefully.

No apologies

Ms Weru maintained that she had done nothing wrong and did not owe Odinga any apology. Instead, she staid the former premier should apologise to her for “storming her premises and inconveniencing”m her other guests.

“I urge Mr Odinga to apologise to me because he inconvenienced my guests by storming into my hotel and turning it into a stadium without notice,” she said at the time.

Ms Weru claimed that Odinga and his team had failed to notify management that they would have lunch at the hotel.

“I was called by one of my workers who informed me that a group of about 60 people including Mr Odinga had checked in and turned the hotel into a conference room. I felt so bad when I found Raila addressing a crowd inside the hotel and I decided to chase them away.”

She told off people castigating her for her actions, stating that they had judged her on half truths instead of first learning the whole story.

“I am not involved in the day to day running of the hotel, and those criticising me without facts should shut up.”

Burying the hatchet
During a recent tour of Nyeri, Odinga stated that he is willing to let bygones be bygones and bury the hatchet with Ms Weru.

“I will sit down and have tea with the woman who kicked me out of her hotel at her home in Karatina because I have forgiven her and we should all forgive each other and foster friendship,” he stated at Kabiru-ini Grounds, Nyeri in November 2021.

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