Where Are They Now: Inside Mutahi Kagwe & Other Uhuru CS's Private Lives

From left: former Cabinet Secretaries, Fred Matiang'i, Mutahi Kagwe and Peter Munya during their past media address
From left: former Cabinet Secretaries, Fred Matiang'i, Mutahi Kagwe and Peter Munya during their past media address.
Canva/ KNA/ NMG

After handing over the instruments of power to their successors, Cabinet Secretaries who served under former President Uhuru Kenyatta's regime chose different paths to spend their time out of government.

Although President William Ruto snapped Monica Juma and named her National Security Advisor and Simon Chelugui, who was assigned the Co-operatives and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Development, others resolved to go off the radar.

But Kenyans.co.ke looks closely at what the former CSs have been up to since handing over power.

President William Ruto (second right), DP Rigathi Gachagua and former CSs Najib Balala, Fred Matiang'i and Joe Mucheru at State House on
President William Ruto (second right), DP Rigathi Gachagua and former CSs Najib Balala, Fred Matiang'i and Joe Mucheru at State House on September 27. 2022.
Joe Mucheru

Fred Matiang'i

The former Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i signed off emotionally, unlike his persona during Uhuru's 10-year reign. Matiang'i, who had served in the Cabinet as the Super CS, penned an emotional letter to the Ministry of Interior employees.

"Despite immense criticism, scorn and false accusations of scheming to manipulate and interfere with the General Election, our sector put up a stellar and professional performance in supporting the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to conduct the General election," he wrote.

Later, he deactivated his social media platforms marking the start of his private life. His handover ceremony to Kithure Kindiki had little fanfare. 

The former CS is now chilling with his family but at an undisclosed location. In December 2022, one of his sons tied the knot at a private ceremony only made public by former ICT CS Joe Mucheru.

"Last weekend (between December 16-18), we were in Naivasha, where Matiang'i's son was getting married. Quite a few of us went there and it was a very good affair," Mucheru told Citizen TV on Sunday, December 25, 2022.

Ukur Yatani

The former Treasury Cabinet Secretary is actively engaged in farming as well as charity work and values his time outside the office.

Yatani also disclosed that he enjoyed privileges such as driving by himself and sleeping without making government briefs.

"Now I drive myself any time to where I want. People who used to call me for favours have reduced significantly. Now I am only getting normal cases," he told Nation.

Mutahi Kagwe

Mutahi Kagwe resolved to live a private life after Uhuru exited the office. According to sources, the former Health CS went back into private business.

Kagwe runs public relations firm, Tell-Em and a research agency,TNS RMS East Africa.  When he joined Uhuru's Cabinet, he was worth Ksh667.8 million.

Tell-Em was founded in 1999 to focus on delivering high-quality communications and creative expertise, meeting clients' requirements.

The over 20-year-old PR firm has bagged numerous awards, including winning the best media relations campaign and the best overall PR campaign in 2016.

In 2019, Tell-Em made KshKsh2.87 million profit, while TNS RMS East Africa generated Ksh2.625 million.

Margaret Kobia

Former Public Service CS Margaret Kobia went back into academia and empowerment. 

Kobia is among the trustees of the University of Nairobi (UoN) Foundation. She is also a Chancellor at St Paul’s University.

To share pieces of knowledge, Kobia also took back her role as an adjunct professor in the area of governance, diversity, inclusion and equity.

Her local church is also benefiting from her empowerment programmes.

"I cooled off from a very busy office schedule, rested and socialised in the month of November and December while giving back to the community," she stated.

James Macharia

Former Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia chose a wellness path immediately after handing over power to Kipchumba Murkomen.

To recover from a tight schedule, which included inspecting different road projects, Macharia crafted a well-being routine. He also dedicated his time to reacquainting with his family.

Eugene Wamalwa

Former Defence CS Eugene Wamalwa went back to active politics and has always aligned himself with the former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and other Azimio principals who are keeping Ruto's government in check.

Reports also indicated that Wamalwa is harbouring future political interests and building the Democratic Alliance Party of Kenya (DAP-K) to become a national party.

Joe Mucheru

Former ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru playing golf
Former ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru playing golf.

Former ICT CS Joe Mucheru was, on Sunday, January 29, appointed as the president of a Goldman Sachs-backed South African financial services start-up.

Before his appointment, Mucheru spent his time playing golf and caring for his businesses.

"It is nice to see that we can now start dealing with family projects and I think those kinds of friendships will last for life now," Mucheru stated in a past interview.

"We don't think too much about the past. We just sit back and enjoy the peace," Mucheru added while referring to the pressure of his past job in government.

Najib Balala

Fauna and Flora International (FFI), an international NGO dedicated to protecting threatened wildlife and habitats, announced  Balala’s appointment as vice president in November 2022.

He was the first CS who served under Uhuru's administration to land a job. Following his appointment, Balala went off the radar to focus on his new role.

George Magoha

Former Education CS George Magoha passed on just weeks after landing a job at Maseno University.

The institution had appointed him as a Professor of Surgery weeks before he passed on. He is set to be buried on Saturday, February 4, 2023.

Farida Karoney and Betty Maina

Former Lands CS Farida Karoney and her Trade counterpart Betty Maina have kept their lives out of office private. They are all cooling off before announcing their next moves.

CS without portfolio Raphael Tuju also went into private practice, especially after her name was adversely mentioned among individuals who wanted the Presidential Election moderated in favour of Raila.

For former Agriculture CS Peter Munya, it is not clear how he is spending his life after exiting the office.