KAMPALA, Uganda (eTN) – The heated controversy in Kenya over the mystery sale of the Grand Regency Hotel to the Libyan Arab Africa Investment Company, and, in particular, the ongoing inquiry held by various governmental bodies and a select committee in parliament, has now brought the Libyan leader himself into the fray.
Faced with the potential threat of losing the hotel, should the deal be cancelled, if or rather once it be established that the sales price was indeed fixed well under market value, as it was promptly alleged, Libyan leader Muammar Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi sent a personal envoy to Kenya to protest in the strongest possible terms about “the complications” and made it clear that under “no circumstances” was the hotel to be given back to Kenya.
However, as earlier reported, the Kenya Ministry of Lands had immediately refused to record a change of ownership in the land registry, which means the sale and transfer was not formally completed.
The message also constitutes outright contempt to the Kenyan parliamentary committee and the formal Commission of Inquiry headed by Justice Abdul Majid Cockar, both of which have the powers and discretion to overturn the sale if found to be as murky as it is believed by wide sections of the public and many members of government.
By making such hasty and strong statements, the Libyans may well find them eventually in a diplomatic corner from which it would be hard to emerge unscathed while at the same time raising some more serious questions what the true purpose and intended party of this intimidation attempt really is.
The Kenyan finance minister responsible for the shady deal has in the meantime been forced to resign but the focus is now on those others thought to be complicit and also responsible for robbing Kenya of possibly several billion of Shillings.