No demolition of Sunset Hotel, says Nyong’o
Published Mon, May 21st 2018 at 00:00, Updated May 20th 2018 at 20:27 GMT +3
County authorities have vowed to block attempts to demolish Sunset Hotel and build a modern five-star facility in its place.
Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o also claimed the hotel, which is 95 per cent owned by the State, owed the county government Sh47 million in lieu of rates.
“The land on which the hotel is built is ours. Kisumu has 5 per cent shareholding of the hotel and we were to be given more through transfer of assets,” said Prof Nyong’o.
But the transfer of some of the assets initially owned by the national government has not taken off under devolution as envisaged.
The governor said the Transition Authority, whose mandate ended in 2016, never transferred the assets.
He said Sunset Hotel was one of the facilities listed for transfer to the county government by the Tourism Finance Corporation (TFC).
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He added that the hotel should be preserved for the sake of heritage.
“We are hearing that the hotel is to be demolished and a new one built but we are saying not on our land or under my watch. Sunset must retains its heritage,” said Nyong’o, insisting that even if the hotel was to be given a facelift, the county authorities must be involved.
“It beats logic that someone sitting in Nairobi is contemplating demolishing Sunset, valued at Sh300 million, without weighing the cost implications,” he said.
Sunset is one of the oldest tourism facilities in the lakeside town and western Kenya region. It was opened by former President Daniel arap Moi in the 1970s.
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The hotel has a panoramic view of Lake Victoria and overlooks Impala Park Sanctuary, which hosts impalas, the rare Sitatunga antelope as well as big cats and buffaloes.
The park also has giraffes and several primate species besides being home to five campsites – all with spectacular views of the lake that can be enjoyed from the vantage Sunset towers.
The TFC recently warned investors against bidding for redevelopment of the hotel during a tussle with the county government.
Managing Director Orumoi Jonah said the county government’s advertisement calling for partnerships to redevelop the hotel was irregular.
The hotel has two shareholders — TFC with 95 per cent and the county government.
The corporation has several other hotels countrywide that are set for privatisation.
Kisumu county locks horn with government over Sunset hotel