Kenya news update – Grand Regency Hotel braces itself for seizure under ‘asset freeze’


The Grand Regency Hotel in Nairobi, acquired by Gadaffi’s Libya under most controversial circumstances a some time ago, is bracing itself to have the ‘Laico’ in the name taken off, as has happened with hotel investments already in Rwanda and Uganda.

Information came to light over the weekend that Kenya is in the final stages of compliance with the UN’s Security Council resolutions freezing the assets of Gadaffi, his family and cronies abroad, where they have invested much of their ill-gotten wealth stolen from the people. Kenya was initially reluctant to comply with the directives of the UNSC but probably ‘saw the light’ in the face of being told the consequences of defying the decision of the UN’s key forum, while also risking damage to bilateral relations with key trading partners in Europe, should the country try to stick to this untenable position.

The Grand Regency would be the most visible Libyan asset and the potential freeze has already brought advocates of change into the fray, who demand not only full disclosure of the circumstances of the deal Kenya made with Gadaffi over the hotel, but want it reversed so that a proper bidding process, assuring maximum yield for the privatization, can be initiated. Other Libyan assets in Kenya are notably in the petroleum industry where the entire Mobil network was taken over in 2007.

Watch this space.