By Prudence Minayo
The powerful and wealthy in Kenya are easily noticeable by the cars they drive and the mega homes they own. This is especially the case with the political elite who spare no expense to build or buy imposing houses. Governors are enjoying the fruits of devolution in their respective counties by building stately houses that run into millions of shillings.
Below is a list of governors and ex-governors with the most opulent houses in the country.
Okoth Obado’s Home-Migori Governor
The controversial yet powerful Migori governor is a man who has been dogged with corruption cases and was a key suspect in the murder of his pregnant lover Sharon Belyne Otieno. Okoth has an imposing one storey home in Rapogi village. According to a local daily, the building materials of the house were imported from China. The house that is estimated at more than Sh100 million by EACC has living rooms and bedrooms on both floors. It also has a modern gym to keep the governor and his family fit.
His furniture was imported from China at a cost of Sh20 million.
Rubbishing reports that he used corruption proceeds to build the house, the governor stated,
“I worked as a teacher before joining Kenya Sugar Board. I have saved some money which I could use to put up a house. My critics are just out to malign my name,” he stated.
Ali Hassan Joho’s House-Mombasa Governor
Regarded as one of the most flamboyant governor’s in the country, it is no surprise that he owns a palatial home. The house’s stunning design spots large tinted windows and is an architectural piece of art. A swimming pool, a beautiful green lawn, and a cabro paved driveway accentuate the mansion’s beauty. It also has an eye-catching fountain to calm the county chief after a busy day in the office.
Anne Waiguru’s House-Kirinyaga Governor
Anne Waiguru owns a sprawling house in Nairobi’s Kitisuru area. Lined with well manicured lawns, Kenyans caught a glimpse of the house when EACC stormed it in 2015. Recently, there was news of her risking losing the home over unpaid debt arrears.
Ali Roba’s Mansion-Mandera Governor
The palatial house is fit for a king with it’s stunning exterior accompanied by a perimeter wall. The two storey building has huge American style windows and a swimming pool for the governor to unwind after a long day of handling county affairs.
When photos of the house surfaced online, it sent Kenyans on a frenzy as they questioned the governor’s priorities. A section of social media users criticised the governor for spending millions on the house while people in Mandera are living in abject poverty.
Mike Sonko’s house-former Nairobi Governor
Mike Sonko served as governor of Nairobi county until his impeachment in 2020. The former governor palatial house stands magnificently on Mua Hills in Machakos and is valued at Ksh150 million. The gold themed house is located in a huge compound fenced with an extensive perimeter wall. The lion sculptures and the writing Sonko’s Family Farm on the gate speak of the affluence. The compound features a basketball court, an ostrich pen and a mausoleum for Sonko’s dad.
Names of family members are reportedly engraved on the floor. The house comes fully equipped with a gym, a conference hall and a swimming pool.
Evans Kidero house-former Nairobi Governor
His fortress-like house is built on a Roman architectural style, which includes cathedral themed pillars and very high ceilings. The multi-million mansion is situated in one of the richest suburbs in the country, Muthaiga. During his corruption case, EACC is reported to have valued the house at about Ksh300 million.
The home employs top notch security and brightly colored bricks mark the walkway along the manicured lawn.
William Kabogo’s house-Former Kiambu Governor
The former Kiambu county governor owns a house that best defines class in Kiambu county. His lavish Windsor home looks like a world class hotel/ resort. A helipad, a man-made dam, well manicured lawn, Jacuzzi and more than one swimming pool are just amongst the many features that draw attention to the magnificence of the home.
James Ongwae’s home-Kisii Governor
The Kisii governor owns an opulent house in Kitutu Chache Constituency. The stately house is located in Ruoma village. It is closely guarded by top notch security and close-up photos of the house are not allowed. He is also said to have two other magnificent houses in the county.
The Busia Governor mansion sitting on a 2 acre piece of land in his rural Okilidu home in Teso South constituency has been compared to a palace. The 15 room home was completed a few weeks before the 2017 general elections. Ojamoong is said to own other houses in neighboring Uganda and in South Africa.