Kibaki's Trusted Nephew Who Serves as Governor

Former president Mwai Kibaki remains in the records of many Kenyans as a reformist who brought back Kenya’s economy from its knees after assuming power in 2002.

Despite key family members keeping away from joining active politics, his nephew Ndiritu Muriithi, who is serving as Laikipia governor has been making major moves in politics taking after his reformist uncle.

Governor Ndiritu is the son of the late Phillip Muriithi Kibaki, the elder brother to Mwai Kibaki.

Former President Mwai Kibaki (centre), Laikipia governor Ndiritu Muriithi (left) and Laikipia county deputy governor John Mwaniki (right) at Nanyuki Sports Club on April 1, 2017

In April 2017, Kibaki who had kept away from active politics was forced to come back from retirement to lobby for the election of Ndiritu as the Laikipia governor.

According to a report by The Standard in April 2017, Kibaki also played a part in the launch of Ndiritu’s manifesto in his bid to clinch the position.

During the period, Ndiritu also organised luncheons in Nyahururu and Nanyuki where Kibaki was always invited as a chief guest.

Kibaki addressed residents where he urged locals to vote wisely for leaders who would bring development to the county hinting that his nephew was a development-oriented leader.

Ndiritu confirmed his invitation for Kibaki terming his presence as a major step that would assist him to grow politically.

"This was a very special circumstance. As an aspirant, it is encouraging to seek advice and support from former President Kibaki but I do not expect him to go back into politics," remarked Ndiritu as quoted by The Standard.

He insisted that the former president had attended the two meetings to offer guidance and support and not necessarily join the campaigns.

"He has a wealth of knowledge and it is an advantage to seek his advice," added Ndiritu.

In August 2017, Ndiritu made history by becoming one among only two governors who ascended to power through an independent ticket.

Ndiritu won against former governor Joshua Irungu who had won in the Jubilee Party nominations forcing Ndiritu to vie as an independent candidate.

Ndiritu also faced opposition from key Laikipia leaders who campaigned for Irungu including Mwangi Kiunjuri who was the Devolution Cabinet Secretary.

Former Kibaki’s security advisor Esau Kioni also objected to the move by Ndiritu to bring Kibaki back to active politics.

"The former president is not going to start campaigning around the country, this was only because family is involved otherwise it will probably be a one-off appearance," remarked Kioni.

Ndiritu served as a Member of Parliament representing Laikipia West between 2007 and 2013 having won on a ticket by Kibaki's Party of National Unity (PNU).

Laikipia governor Ndiritu Muriithi(Left) and his deputy John Mwaniki celebrate after clinching the gubernatorial position in August 2017

Ndiritu then defected to the United Democratic Forum Party (UDF) in 2013.

He also served as Assistant Minister for Industrialization between 2007 and 2013, in the government of Mwai Kibaki.