Mbiyu Koinange, Minister Who Never Slept in Same Room with His Wives
The Kenyan political system is one that has been full of intrigues and secrets, with different players sometimes going overboard to hold on to power.
Though less publicised to many, Kenyan Presidents have over time been known to have close confidants in their inner circles, most of who influence major decisions by the government.
As documented in a book titled: Dark Secrets of the Kenyan Presidency by one Chris Kumekucha, selected individuals held top government secrets with a classical case being that of the late powerful Minister Mbiyu Koinange. Mr Koinange served as the Minister of State in the office of Kenya’s founding President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta.
According to those close to him, Koinange is said to have revealed to a friend that he was afraid of sharing a room with any of his four wives just to guard the secrets of the State.
“What would happen if I dreamt in my sleep and started divulging Jomo’s secrets? I certainly cannot live with such an eventuality, so I decided never to share a bedroom with anyone, my wives included,” he once divulged.
During Mzee Kenyatta’s administration, Mr Koinange is said to have been one of the most powerful government officials trusted with all the good and dark secrets of the President.
According to former Butere Member of Parliament Martin Shikuku as documented in other files, there was some information purely trusted with Koinange and Kenyatta could not even mention a word of it to his wife Mama Ngina Kenyatta.
“I was told to mind my business because there were things Kenyatta talked about with Koinange that he couldn’t share even with First Lady Mama Ngina,” Shikuku said.
Being an instrumental political go-between and the power behind the throne in the Kenyatta Presidency, Mr Koinange was close to untouchable.
To further demonstrate the bond, former Subukia MP Koigi Wamwere once narrated how a powerful Koinange was protected after being mentioned by a Commission investigating the death of former Nyandarua North lawmaker JM Kariuki.
“Kenyatta is reported to have said that to have Koinange’s name on the report was to have his own there as well,” Wamwere was quoted.
Being a highly regarded and well-protected government official, Koinange paid for the privilege by maintaining a high level of secrecy in regard to undertakings by the Kenyatta regime.
Mbiyu Koinange passed away on September 2, 1981, at Nairobi Hospital where he was undergoing treatment.
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