Kenya’s post independence mastermind, Njonjo, dies before anticipated 2022 elections
Charles Njonjo, the man who played pivotal role during the Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and Daniel Arap Moi eras succumbed to death, a day after New Year 2022 at the time when his country’s politics are simmering towards the August polls.
President Uhuru Kenyatta made the announcement.
For other East African states, such as Uganda and Tanzania, Njonjo is mostly remembered for (allegedly), killing the first East African Community (EAC) circa 1977.
While very few people get to reach the age of 100, Njonjo not only surpassed this milestone (at 101), but was also the only remaining figure who served in Kenya’s first cabinet.
A Lawyer, Politician, King Maker and Genius in his own right, the rather proud Njonjo lived for more than a century.
Njonjo reportedly assumed an English way of life having studied at Gray’s Inn in London upon completing his education in first Kenya and later South Africa. He became a typical Briton during the time of studies at the prestigious society of barristers.
In fact, Njonjo even married a British lady, Margaret Bryson, who he met at the All Saints’ Cathedral in Nairobi.
Plus he wasn’t in a hurry to walk down the isles, Njonjo tied knots in 1972 when he was 52.
Njonjo was dedicated to his job as Kenya’s Attorney-General, billing long hours and somehow this could be the reason why he delayed to start family.
Charles Njonjo worked dilligently as Kenyan attorney general from 1963 to 1980. He was at one time also served as trusted political adviser to President Moi in the 1980s, before the two fell out.
It is believed that it was Njonjo who convinced Kenya’s founding President Kenyatta to appoint Daniel Arap Moi as Vice President after Joseph Murumbi resigned from the position in 1966 following some disagreements with Jomo.
Runs in the Family?
His father, Josiah Njonjo, a colonial paramount chief, was friends with many prominent British families. Josia was one of the foremost mediators between Kenyans and the British in pre-Independence Kenya.
Which means litle Charles started out early as member of prestigious society.
In fact, since his tender age, young Charles Njonjo would ride a horse to attend Primary school in Lower Kabete with a servent on tow.
There are reports that Njonjo never tasted the local staple ‘Ugali’ (Maize Meal) until he got enrolled at the prestigious Alliance High School in Kikuyu, when he attepted to eat Ugali for the first time.
The adult Njonjo loved his wardrobe his trademark three-piece, immaculate pin-striped suit with the thick tie and rose pin would be a source of admiration to many.