The first president of Kenya, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, served the country for 15 years and one thing he definitely loved was land.
During one of the many visits to the Coast, the then Provincial Commissioner (PC) Eliud Mahihu took Jomo Kenyatta to lunch at a beach hotel.
In an interview done by Kamau Ngotho, a veteran journalist, Mahihu narrated how Kenyatta saw undeveloped land and asked him whom the land belonged to.
“Find out who the owner of the plot is and tell him I can buy it at double the market price,” Kenyatta requested.
The late Mzee Kenyatta loved land
Mahihu reported his findings to the late president the following day and found him seated next to Mama Ngina, Mzee’s youngest wife.
“Mzee I got to know who owns the land but I am sorry she said she is unwilling to sell it to you,” the former PC explained.
Kenyatta requested Mahihu to look for the landowner so they would have a personal talk, probably, to try convince the seller.
“Asking her to come talk to you can’t be difficult. She is right here and seated next to you,” Mahihu told Kenyatta.
Mahihu remembers Kenyatta’s loud laughter after which he responded, “This must be the uhuru (freedom) we fought for. Even women can own land without our knowledge.”
After independence, Kenyatta got busy vetting and buying beach plots. Though he is said to have bought most of the pieces of land, some publications claim he allocated the property to his allies.