Meet Mzee Moi's Flower Girl Who Serves as Deputy Governor

  • Young Caroline Karugu presents a bouquet of flowers to then President Daniel arap Moi during a visit in Nyeri County in 1992. Daily Nation
  • Nyeri County’s first female Deputy Governor Caroline Wanjiru Karugu has been a lady of interest since her appointment to the position in July 2018.

    Although Karugu never had an interest in politics, leadership was a virtue she knew ran in her, priding to have met former President Daniel Moi in person in 1992 as a 13-year-old girl after handing her a welcoming banquet of flowers while at Nyeri Primary School.

    Nyeri Deputy Governor Dr. Caroline Karugu (Right) interacts with a patient at Nyeri County Refferal Hospital on November 20
    Nyeri Deputy Governor Dr. Caroline Karugu (Right) interacts with a patient at Nyeri County Refferal Hospital on November 20

    Speaking to Daily Nation in October 2018, Karugu reminisced on her early venture into modelling while she was an intern at the Nairobi Securities Exchange then based at Nation Centre, after she was introduced by Nation photographer Joseph Mathenge after they met in the lift.

    “I was not feeling that vibe. But he persisted for many days and even introduced me to a modelling school. I had nothing to lose,” she revealed.

    Her decision bore more fruits than she had anticipated as she clinched the 2002 Miss Nairobi crown and came in third in the national contest.

    An album photo of Caroline Karugu (Left) during the Miss Tourism Kenya pageant in Nairobi in 2002.
    An album photo of Caroline Karugu (Left) during the Miss Tourism Kenya pageant in Nairobi in 2002. Photo: Nation

    It was not long before Karugu left for the corporate sector where she worked for Britam and later headed to Jabali Microfinance where she served as the chief executive officer until her appointment as the deputy governor.

    When Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga called her with a request to deputise the county chief, Karugu was hesitant, unsure of whether she wanted to join the seemingly murky political arena.

    "I feared politics. The mudslinging, the name-calling. I love serving but without the politics involved,” the deputy governor is quoted in the Daily Nation.

    She revealed that after engaging further with the Kenya Women Finance Trust CEO Jennifer Riria she decided to take up the task with a clear intention of carrying out politics in a different way and helping improve the lives of Nyeri residents.

    Since her appointment, the 41-year-old PhD holder continues to win the hearts of many locals, officially embarking on humanitarian acts to the less fortunate, the disabled and also people living with cancer.

    Nyeri Deputy Governor Dr. Caroline Karugu meets members of Genesis Breast Health Karatina in preparation for cancer wareness campaigns on October 7
    Nyeri Deputy Governor Dr. Caroline Karugu meets members of Genesis Breast Health Karatina in preparation for cancer wareness campaigns on October 7

    On Wednesday, November 13,  she embarked on a campaign to sensitize the locals on cancer awareness, facilitating screening for breast cancer for women, a move that has received accolades from Nyeri residents.

     “She was shocked out of the corporate slumber when she visited Nyeri County Referral Hospital and saw two burn victims sharing one bed despite their severe injuries," a report by the Daily Nation reads.

    “We have a tough task ahead on health. We are expanding the facilities, hiring more staff and seeking to streamline services,” she explained.

    Other projects the deputy governor has embarked on supporting include revamping of technical schools in the county with the intention of demystifying university education, recently launching Rathiti Polytechnic in Kirimukuyu Ward on November 16.