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Ex-Biwott aide’s Royalton Hotel up for auction

William Chepkut
Ainabkoi MP William Chepkut. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NMG 

A bank has put up for auction a multi-million shilling hotel in Eldoret belonging to a former long-serving personal assistant to late powerful Kanu era Cabinet minister Nicholas Biwott.

Royalton Hotel, owned by William Chepkut — who is also the Member of Parliament for Ainabkoi Constituency — sits on a 3.68-acre piece of land and contains six cottages, five related buildings and lodging blocks.

The auction notice published last week by Watts Auctioneers invited potential buyers of the hotel to attend a sale event mid next month.

“Under instructions received from our principals, the chargees in exercise of their statutory power of sale, we shall sell the under mentioned property on Friday 12 April at 11am near the general post office, Eldoret Town,” they said.

A deposit of at least 25 per cent is required, the notice said.

Efforts by the Business Daily to reach Mr Chepkut were futile as he did not pick his phone or respond to SMS queries.

“The outstanding rates are Sh3,540 and the hotel which is operational is run by the registered owner (William Kamuren Chirchir Chepkut).”

Mounting debt

The auction comes as the number of properties going under the hammer or businesses crippled by mounting debt has risen sharply in recent months.

“The hotel’s lodging block comprises a three-storey building with each floor accommodating similar eight self-contained lodging rooms,” said the auctioneers.

According to auctioneering firms, the number of property going under the hammer has risen in the last year compared with 2017, but they are struggling to find buyers.

Auctioneers said they were holding more auctions due to a growing pool of distressed borrowers whose assets have been seized by lenders.

This comes amid a credit crunch as banks slowed down lending and prolonged electoral period that hit Kenyan businesses, leading to cash flow difficulties.

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