Connect with us

Bt Intelligence

Deputy President William Ruto buys 680 Hotel at a premium price



Deputy President William Ruto is investing in property and hospitality.

Deputy President William Ruto is likely to come into focus, once again, with reports that he has bought a prominent hotel located in a prime area in Nairobi.

Mr Ruto is understood to have acquired the popular 10-storey 680 Hotel in the heart of the city a few months ago at Ksh3 billion and plans to refurbish it into a more luxurious outfit. He is said to have paid Ksh2 billion, raising questions about the finances.

Related: William Ruto and Uhuru Kenyatta’s salaries

The source of the money will shine the spotlight at the Deputy President, who has been named in billion-shillings deals since 2013 when he took office. He has acquired 680 Hotel from Sentrim Group of Hotels, which owned by Indian tycoon Jac Patel.

Other hotels under the Sentrim Group include Boulevard, Castle Royal, Sentrim Mara, Sentrim Tsavo, Sentrim Amboseli, Sentrim Elementaita and Sentrim Samburu.

Sentrim 680 Hotel, located at the Kenyatta Avenue and Muindi Mbingu intersection in the city centre, just ten-minute walk from the Deputy President’s office on Harambee Avenue, is a prime property in the city.

It is popular with budget customers and attracts a good number of foreign clients especially from within Eastern and West Africa because of its lower prices compared to the five-star hotels in this neighbourhood such as Sarova Stanley, Intercontinental, Hilton and Laico Regency.

680-Hotel-Good-photo Deputy President William Ruto buys 680 Hotel at a premium price

The ten-storey 680 Hotel is a prime property in Nairobi.

While 680’s rating is not very clear, its services can be placed within the three or two-star range. The hotel, though, has the dubious reputation of being a beneficiary of prostitution plied at the Simmers restaurant, often acting as a hideout and lodging for flesh peddlers.

See Also: Unpacking the little secrets of the new Sh90 unga

Word about Ruto buying 680 Hotel has been doing rounds in whispers for sometime now, with muted mentions on social media and blogs. But they have lately been too loud to be ignored.

For the first time, activist Orie Rogo Manduli spoke publicly about it last evening on the Jeff Koinange Live (JKL) show on Citizen TV. “Deputy President William Ruto has bought 680 Hotel for three billion shillings,” Ms Manduli said. “He has paid two billion already. Where did he get the money? His salary is not enough to raise that amount of money.”

In April, the Star newspaper mentioned the rumour in its corridors of power column, but recanted it the following day, even pulling down the post from its website. “We told you of reports doing the rounds in town to the effect that Deputy President William Ruto had bought the 680 Hotel at Ksh3 billion,” it said in its 6th April edition. “His office has now told us that the reports are not true the DP can account for all his wealth.”

NEXT: Travelling between Mombasa and Nairobi just got cheaper

Given his salary of Ksh1,487,500 (excluding allowances) or Ksh18 million, just slightly below President’s Uhuru pay of Sh1.75 million, questions will certainly be raised about the source of his finances.

Accounting for his wealth is one thing but handling the public backlash for such a kingly expenditure in a country where majority of people are struggling to put food on the table will not be easy. Kenya’s economy is also struggling with a Ksh2.6 trillion budget and shrinking revenues, with many companies retrenching employees.

This will be the second publicly known hotel Mr Ruto owns in Nairobi. The deputy president owns Weston Hotel on Lang’ata Road, right opposite Wilson Airport, which also thrust him in the eye of a storm when it emerged that it had been built on public land and was attempting to grab a piece of land belonging to a public school nearby for its expansion.

READ: Ruto buys stake in Mediamax and launches Kalenjin radio station

Mr Ruto’s name featured prominently after there was an attempt to grab the Langa’ta Primary School playground by some faceless businessmen. His Weston Hotel, said to be one of the most expensive in the city, was accused of attempting to convert the playground into a parking lot. Weston is claimed to have been built on land grabbed from the Kenya Civil Aviation. Ruto at first denied he owned Weston Hotel but he later admitted it is his but denied any land grabbing allegations.

Sentrim 680 hotel is a major investment by Mr Ruto, who joins the league of billionaire property magnets like Chris Kirubi and a good number of others from Central Kenya who own buildings within the City Centre.

The 10-storey Sentrim 680 Hotel also boasts seven conference halls with a combined capacity of 1500 delegates. The main guest area consists of the reception, lounge area, coffee shop, Casino, Gift shop, Restaurant and the recently opened Sentropé Bar and Lounge.

Mr Ruto, who describes himself as a hustler (Kenyan speak for street smart businessperson), appears to be gaining appetite for the hotel industry, with another multibillion mall attributed to his name coming up in Eldoret town, which will also host a major hotel.

Mr Ruto has also recently invested in media by buying shares in Mediamax Networks Ltd, which is owned by the Kenyatta family and runs the People Daily newspaper, K24 TV, Kameme FM & TV, Milele FM and a host of other radio stations.

Should Kenyans care about Ruto’s private investments? Scroll down and share your views in comments section


Business Today is the leading independent online business website in Kenya. Started in 2012 by a veteran business journalist, it has a huge following both in Kenya and abroad. It covers various business and related issues. Email editor at: [email protected]

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News Updates

Economy34 mins ago

Govt to merge six financial agencies to form mega bank

According to the plan, the new agency will become a one-stop shop for loans from the Government ranging

Politics1 hour ago

Win for MCAs in fight for fat pay

They claim the salary capping has negatively affected the effective functioning of the 47 County Assemblies and County Governments

Opinion7 hours ago

Align Kenya’s political system with global standards

There is need to ensure that our system is in line with international best practice especially as they relate to...

NEWS8 hours ago

Kitui County embroiled in models ‘sex scandal’

At least 16 models have dismissed the crowning of four winners at a beauty pageant held last month

NEWS9 hours ago

Kenya not yet fully a free democracy, new report says

While a full report on the country's performance is not yet available online, a summary of the report notes that...

NEWS10 hours ago

Family of five perishes in Juja inferno

Police said a woman, three children - all aged below 10 years, and a man were found early Tuesday morning

NEWS10 hours ago

Americans urged to support conservation

Conservation of nature in many countries in Africa contributes significantly to sustainable rural community livelihoods

NEWS1 day ago

It’s business as usual, Mike Sonko says

He dismissed reports that Igathe called it quits last Friday following disagreements arising from implementation of key projects and award...

NEWS1 day ago

Police mum on theft of State House furniture

Nakuru OCPD Samuel Obara told the press that only police headquarters in Nairobi or State House spokesman Manoah Esipisu can...

NEWS1 day ago

Uncertain future for 100 police officers recalled from NTSA

The Director of Personnel at Vigilance House, the Kenya Police Service nerve centre, Boniface Maingi asked the commanders to send...