Charity Kaluki Ngilu is the current Kitui County Governor. She is one of the three women governors that were elected as governors in the 2017 General Election.
Ngilu’s political career spans three decades having first vied and won the Kitui central parliamentary seat in 1992.
In 1997, Ngilu and the late Prof. Wangari Maathai became the first women to vie in the presidential election losing to former President Daniel Arap Moi. She however retained her parliamentary seat.
Ngilu was part of the coalition that swept into power in the 2002 general election that propelled Mwai Kibaki to the presidency. She became the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) chairperson and President Kibaki appointed her as Minister of Health in January 2003.
A fall out in the coalition saw Ngilu align herself with Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement against Kibaki’s Party of National Unity, with the 2007 contentious general elections resulting in a government of national unity.
Ngilu launched the Kitui County Textile Centre (Kicotec), the first-ever garment factory by a County government in Kenya in 2019 producing uniforms, mats and napkins.
In April 2020, a month after the first case of Coronavirus was announced in Kenya, Kicotec was quickly repurposed to enable it to manufacture 30,000 face masks a day, providing a lifeline amid a global shortage of face masks