Amidst ongoing efforts to resuscitate Liberia’s ailing infrastructure occasioned by the 14 years of civil unrest, a Capitol FM investigation has established that the once-famous Hotel Africa in Virginia, outside Monrovia has now a public toilet.
Constructed in 1979, the hotel hosted several international conferences including the Organization of African Unity (OAU). Even though a South African consortium had plans to invest US$100 million to renovate the historic hotel in time for Liberia's hosting duties of an international women's colloquium in 2009, our investigation established that the doorway to the Hotel is plastered with human feces with bushes and wild palm trees everywhere. The Capitol FM survey also discovered that the Hotel’s famous garden parks have been turned into community dumpsites with rats roaming all over. Our reporter who risks entering the once gorgeous executive lobby of the Hotel was greeted by a number of wayward men believed to be hardened criminals. According to our reporter, the unit which once housed the prestigious Barcadi Bar and Restaurant can no longer be identified due to massive looting of the facility. A local businessman, who operates an entertainment center at the back of the Hotel close to the beach, told Capitol FM, controlling intruders has become a challenge for him. Thomas Samah said many times there is a fight between his men and criminals who try to misuse the Hotel Africa facility. Samah is meanwhile calling on National Security personnel to join him in providing safety for the Hotel Africa facility. In the 1980s the hotel was owned by British-Liberian businessman Michael Doe. On 5 August, 1990, the INPFL kidnapped the manager Doe, two Lebanese, and two Liberians at the Hotel Africa premises, later murdering Michael Doe, throwing him off the 4th floor balcony.