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State House

State House is the official residence of the President of Kenya. It was the residence of the Prime Minister of Kenya from independence until Kenya (12 Dec 1963) transformed into a republic (12 Dec 1964). As the Prime Minister’s position was abolished, it has been the official residence of the president since then.

Before the construction of Government House in Nairobi, the first Governor’s residence was at Government House, Mombasa, constructed in 1879. Government House in Nairobi, now State House, was built in 1907 in Nairobi to serve as the official residence of the Governor of British East Africa, when Kenya was a colony within the British Empire. The Governor would conduct his official functions at the old Provincial Commissioner’s office (now a national monument) next to Nyayo House and then retire to Government House for the day.[1] It was designed by the British architect Sir Herbert Baker.

After independence, Government House was renamed State House. Although it remained the official residence of the Head of State, in practice it became an administrative or operational office occasionally providing accommodation to visiting state guests and receptions on National Days. This scenario has prevailed to-date with the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and President Moi preferring private residences as opposed to living in State House.

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