What Stripes on All Charles Njonjo's Suits are Written

  • Kenya's first post-independence Attorney General, Charles Njonjo, became an iconic figure in the 80s due to his unique pin-stripped, three-piece suits.

    Mr Njonjo's suits, said to be 20 in total, contain his initials "CN" running through in the threading of the white stripes on the suit.

    The former Attorney General boasts of having maintained the same London couturier for his custom-made suits over the years.

    The importation of the legendary suits caused an embarrassing ordeal for the former AG in 1981 when he was charged an additional Sh36,000 cargo fees after the suits weighed in at 270 kg.

     [caption caption="File image of former AG Charles Njonjo"][/caption]

    "In January 1981, he (senior superintendent of police Essau Kihumba Kioni) discussed with a Mr Todd, an accountant in the revenue section, the issue of excess baggage weighing 270kg that had been flown in by Njonjo from London. When it was confirmed with the London authorities that Njonjo had not paid for the excess baggage, the chief accountant discussed the matter with the airlines Managing Director, Lord Cole and Njonjo was invoiced Sh36,272.50 on January 21, 1981.

    "On January 29 the same year, Kioni was summoned to Njonjos office, where in front of Lord Cole and Simon Mbugua the then permanent secretary in the Ministry of Transport, the former AG expressed his disgust at the police officer," the Miller commission was told during an inquiry into the AG's conduct.

    The famed Duke of Kabeteshire made history as being the first Kenyan in history to have his personal conduct subjected to public scrutiny.

    "The Miller inquiry stands alone for several reasons. Firstly, it is the only recorded occasion when an inquiry was established into the personal conduct of only one individual, Charles Njonjo.

    "Secondly, the conduct complained about in relation to Charles Njonjo could only have directly and materially aggrieved one person: the President (Daniel Moi)," an AfriCOG study outlines.

    The former AG, who is now 98, is also said to have been one of the only three men who ever drove in former President Daniel Moi's limousine.

    [caption caption="Former AG Charles Njonjo"][/caption]