Matron-in-Chief Margaret Wanjiku Koinange Was Smitten With AG Charles Njonjo

  • State House Nairobi. The Star
  • When President Jomo Kenyatta assumed office of the newly-independent Kenya, State House was abuzz with dramatics as various personalities interacted in its corridors.

    One such scenario involved Attorney General Charles Njonjo who was subjected to unrelenting chases by Kenya's Matron-in-Chief at the time Margaret Wajiku Koinange especially in the house.

    Kenyatta's Chief Secretary and Kenya's first Head of Civil Service Duncan Ndegwa revealed that Wanjiku was infatuated by the seemingly uninterested AG in his book Walking in Kenyatta's Struggles.

    "Matron-in-Chief Margaret Wanjiku Koinange, was so smitten with the Attorney General that she chased him all over the place, including State House. Her adventures led to light moments which Kenyatta himself enjoyed a great deal," he wrote.

    From left: Charles Njonjo, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, Duncan Ndegwa and Eliud Mathu

    According to Ndegwa, Kenyatta also took part in mocking Njonjo by playing a trick on him.

    "Sometimes he (Kenyatta) would place the telephone handset to his ear and pretend that Wanjiku was on the line looking for the AG, even when she was nowhere near! The AG, then single, would become visibly disconcerted," Ndegwa elucidated.

    Her bold advances were however not successful as Njonjo still did not consider her as a potential wife.

    Among his colleagues, Charles, was known as the senior bachelor with little interest in the beautiful African women who worked around him.

    In 1972, he eventually married British national Margaret Bryson at the age of 52 after Mzee Kenyatta piled pressure on him to get hitched.

    The President who would often complain that he did not wish to be advised by a bachelor.

    Former AG Charles Njonjo

    Njonjo would later serve as the Minister of Constitutional Affairs from 1980 to 1983.