Maina Wanjigi Biography, Age, Early Life, Education, Career, Politics, Challenges, Commerce, Charity, Controversies, Wife, Children, Family, Personal Life, Legacy, Net Worth, Social Media, Twitter

Biography Of Maina Wanjigi

Maina Wanjigi Biography

Maina Wanjigi, a former minister and Jimmy Wanjigi’s father, passed away.

Wanjigi, who was being treated at the Nairobi Hospital, passed away at 92.

The day of Wanjigi’s death was June 28, 2024.


Nevertheless, when this item was published, businessman and politician Jimmy Wanjigi had not yet released a comment regarding the passing of his father.

Before he retired from politics, the late former cabinet minister represented the present Kamukunji Constituency as a Member of Parliament (MP) for over 25 years.

The renowned and large-scale open-air Gikomba market in his constituency was started and developed by the former MP, who claims credit for it.


He also took delight in having contributed to the creation of Shauri Moyo’s Jua-kali informal business sector.

The Elder of the Golden Heart of Kenya (EGH) award, which is given to statesmen, was also given to the former politician.

Maina Wanjigi Biography
Maina Wanjigi Biography

Maina Wanjigi Career

He served in the Cabinet as Minister of Public Works, Agriculture, and Tourism during his time as a minister.

Long before she entered politics, Maina Wanjigi worked as an assistant agricultural extension officer in Nyeri District just before independence.

Born in 1931, Maina first gained notoriety when he was chosen by the late founding president Jomo Kenyatta shortly after independence.

He was tasked with settling thousands of landless people after becoming Kenya’s first Director of Settlement upon independence.

Overseeing the one-million-acre settlement plan intended to provide houses for over a million families whose land had been taken by colonialists, Wanjigi would be in charge of its execution.

After becoming involved in politics, Maina ran in the Kamukunji Constituency election in November 1969, which was sparked by the death of the late Tom Mboya, a former Kenyan politician.

Wanjigi was appointed as an assistant minister in the Ministry of Agriculture, which was led by Bruce McKenzie, in 1970 by the late Jomo Kenyatta.

Maina Wanjigi Biography
Maina Wanjigi Biography

Maina Wanjigi Under President Moi

After Kenyatta passed away in 1979, former President Daniel Moi named Wanjigi as chairman of Kenya Airways (KQ). Wanjigi had also lost a parliamentary seat that year.

Wanjigi was named Minister of Tourism and Wildlife when President Moi reorganized his Cabinet after a snap election in 1983, attempting to bolster his power in light of the attempted coup in 1982.

In the hasty elections at the time, the former Minister had regained his Kamukunji parliamentary seat.

The goal of having one million tourists visit Kenya by 1988 was unveiled during his time as minister of tourism; however, this goal would not be realized until 2010.

Maina was transferred to the Ministries of Public Works and Housing and Cooperative Development in later Cabinet reorganizations.

Throughout the industry and the nation, he oversaw the Ministry’s establishment of cooperative organizations for savings and credit.

Notably, the Cooperative Bank of Kenya was established under his administration.

After that, the former MP was sent to the Ministry of Agriculture, where he began his career in the 1960s as a young professional.

Maina Wanjigi Biography
Maina Wanjigi Biography

Maina Wanjigi Fallout with Moi and Retire from Politics

Amidst the national cry for multi-party politics in 1990, Wanjigi was kicked out of the then-ruling KANU party.

Wanjigi ran for the Kamukunji seat on the Kenya National Congress (KNC) party in 1992 but was unsuccessful after his falling out with President Moi.

After that, Wanjigi relocated to the Mathira constituency in what is now Nyeri County to run for the parliamentary seat in 1997.

Former KANU Secretary-General Joseph Kamotho, who was the sitting MP at the time, was also a contender in the fiercely contested race.

Both, however, suffered crushing defeats, and Maina withdrew from politics to concentrate on his commercial empire, which is now led by his son Jimmy and encompasses the Kwacha Group of Companies.

For twenty-five years, the deceased served as the head of the SOS Children’s Home Program in Kenya.

Before leaving in 2018, Wanjigi also served as Director of Carbacid Investment.

Jimmy Wanjigi’s father receives tributes as he makes his last bow at the age of 93

James Maina Wanjigi, a self-made billionaire, has passed away. At the age of 93, Wanjigi passed away on June 28 while undergoing care at The Nairobi Hospital.

The long-serving Cabinet minister and former member of parliament (MP) for Kamukunji has been remembered as a father figure and a pillar of the Wanjigi family.

Jimmy Wanjigi, a politician and businessman, is his son.

He is recognized for having had a major impact on Kenya’s political and economic environment during his more than 25-year career in both business and politics.

Following Tom Mboya’s murder in 1969, Wanjigi entered the political sphere and won a by-election to replace him. He went on to become an MP for 25 years.

Notably, he advocated for free elementary education in Kenya in a historic statement he delivered in Parliament in 1973.

Three decades later, when President Mwai Kibaki assumed office in 2002, his vision was realized.

“Unless you have a good education that every child has access to and that can be harnessed to enable them to reach their full potential, you cannot build a sound population and a sound nation,” he said in a June 1973 speech in Parliament supporting free primary school education for all.

It’s about time someone realized that we all desire free elementary education. Let there be a minimum of eight years of free primary education for every child in this nation.

He was named chairman of Kenya Airways in 1979 and Minister of Tourism and Wildlife in 1983, both during the administration of President Daniel Moi.

Wanjigi faced difficulties throughout his political career.

He was kicked out of the KANU ruling party in 1990 for endorsing multi-party politics.

He persisted in his opposition political career, unfazed.

The sizable Muoroto slums were part of the minister’s constituency.

The largest open-air market in the East and Central Africa region, the huge Gikomba Market, was started and developed by Wanjigi in his Kamukunji Constituency.

On October 7, 1931, Maina Wanjigi was born in Wahudura Village, Murang’a County.

After clearing the common entrance exam, he continued his studies at Wahudura Primary School in 1938 and later attended Kagumo Intermediate School in Nyeri in 1943.

At Alliance High School, where he served as the medical prefect, he completed his secondary school.

Wanjigi’s academic endeavors brought him to the Department of Agriculture’s soil conservation division then, in 1951, to Makerere University where he continued his agricultural studies.

He continued his studies at the Food Research Institute at Stanford University in the United States.

Wanjigi’s career was distinguished by many ground-breaking successes.

He was appointed the first CEO of the Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation and the first African director of settlement, managing the one million-acre project.

During his administration, the National Economic Council was founded and Kiharu saw the advent of small-scale coffee farming.

Maina Wanjigi Biography
Maina Wanjigi Biography

Maina Wanjigi Challenges and Controversies

Wanjigi’s political career wasn’t without its challenges.

His commercial interests were severely damaged by the attempted coup in 1982, and in 1990, his vocal opposition to the destruction of the Muoroto slums resulted in his removal from the Cabinet and expulsion from KANU.

But Wanjigi, ever the adaptable one, turned around again.

As Kenya moved toward multi-party politics, he joined the opposition and became an outspoken supporter of democratic changes.

Maina Wanjigi Biography
Maina Wanjigi Biography

The Last Act: Commerce and Charity

Wanjigi stepped back politely from active politics in 1992 and 1997 following his unsuccessful attempts to win parliamentary seats.

However, this dynamic personality was never going to retire in peace. He focused on:

Business: Concentrating on the Kwacha Group of Companies and his interests
Philanthropy: Chairman of the Kenyan SOS Children’s Home program

Maina Wanjigi Biography
Maina Wanjigi Biography

Maina Wanjigi Legacy

An era came to an end with the death of Maina Wanjigi at the age of 92.

His impact on the upcoming generation of Kenyan leaders and entrepreneurs goes beyond his accomplishments since he is the father of billionaire Jimi Wanjigi.

Kenya today would be unrecognizable without Maina Wanjigi, whose life narrative has shaped everything from political reform to industrial development, philanthropy to agricultural landscape transformation.

His legacy stands as an example of the strength of fortitude, vision, and flexibility in the face of adversity.

The paths set by trailblazers such as Maina Wanjigi continue to influence Kenya’s future development.

His life serves as a reminder that nation-building is a difficult, perhaps contentious, but ultimately fruitful undertaking that calls for bravery, vision, and an unrelenting dedication to advancement.

What disease was Mutegi Njau afflicted with?

He passed away a few weeks after being admitted to a Nairobi hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) due to a stroke.

Plans for Mutegi’s funeral were in motion, according to his relatives, who did not provide many specifics about the condition.

They suffered the loss of their pillar of support, their joy, their sense of humor, and their acceptance of charity.

The deceased was a University of Nairobi (UoN) alumnus who worked for a while at Royal Media Services (RMS) as a lead investigative journalist and senior editor.

He was also tasked with RMS journalists’ internal training.

He was employed by the Nation Media Group from 1981 until 2005 when he left to join RMS.

Mutegi co-hosted the popular political program Cheche Show, which used to air on Citizen TV, during the height of his career.

Uduak Amimo and David Makali were his panel coworkers.


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