Who Was John Michuki?

Michuki had a heart attack + multiple organ failure

He is also known as “The Rattle Snake.” His Kikuyu nickname, Kimeendero[89] means, “the one who crushes” and can, according to Raila Odinga,[90] be traced back to his days in the Colonial administration where he worked as a District Officer. Michuki acquired his “rattle-snake” nickname after police raided the offices of The East African Standard Newspaper, burnt copies of the paper that were destined for distribution, shut down KTN TV station and made away with computer hard disks among other equipment. The paper came under attack after it reported an alleged secret meeting between Kalonzo Musyoka, then an ODM-Kenya Presidential aspirant, and President Mwai Kibaki at State House Nairobi.[91] After Michuki admitted that the government was behind the commando style raid, he told Journalists that, “When you rattle a snake, you must be ready to be bitten by it.”[92] The Kiruki report about the Artur brothers who commanded the raid accused Michuki “…of supporting and condoning illegal activities of the Arturs. It recommends his prosecution and ban from holding public office.”[93] In the past, Michuki has had to deny charges that he was against the Mau Mau freedom fighters[94] during the anti-colonial war for liberation when he was employed to serve his British colonial masters.

Among the fat cats who surrounded Kibaki, Michuki was initially not a key policymaker but later Kibaki had reason to listen to him after he displayed unmatched ruthlessness in dealing with Matatu operators across the country.[95] Just like Kibaki, Michuki worked with Moi in KANU then moved to Ford-People following the dawn of the Multi-party era but when it became clear that Simon Nyachae’s Ford- People (which he was a member of ) was heading into a ditch, Michuki jumped ship and joined Kibaki in NAK. However, he remains an old buddy of Kibaki who did not come into contact with the President for the first time after he left Ford-People. Read more here.


  • Thursday, February 01, 2007

    How Did Arrogant “Rattle Snake” Michuki Make His Millions?

    John Njoroge Michuki could be among the richest cabinet ministers in President Kibaki’s cabinet but few know how the former colonial District officer amassed a fortune that made him fabulously wealthy by the early 70’s.

    After his stint with the colonialists, Michuki was absorbed by Kenya’s first independence government due to his experience in public service and was among the few Kenyans who were well educated.

    He was later appointed executive chairman of Kenya commercial bank and managed to give himself unsecured loans which he used wisely to quickly build up his financial empire with vast investments in agriculture, real estate and in recent times, transport.

    Here is a man who has built a reputation over the years for never failing to use his public service office to make money. Michuki is said to have acquired Kipande house in the city center while he was still the top man at KCB and ended up doubling as his employer’s landlord as the bank has maintained a branch on those premises for many years.

    Michuki is also said to have amassed plenty of buildings in Nairobi while he worked at the bank along with prime land which he later sold off in the 90’s and made big profits in the transactions at a time when members of the Kikuyu community were being ‘sidelined’ by the then president Moi.

    When Kibaki came to power, he appointed Michuki to the transport ministry where he served well by making it mandatory for public service vehicles to install safety belts and speed governors but also made money on the side by licensing Citi hopper buses to operate within the city center at a time when Kenya bus services had collapsed.

    It was later established that his son was among the directors of Citi hopper fuelling speculation that the minister could probably be the owner of the fast growing transport company that is now dominating the streets of Nairobi and its suburbs.

    Michuki is now minister of internal security and provincial administration where they are multi million shilling security contracts at his disposal and better still, most of these contracts are sealed in secrecy due to their sensitive nature. Will Michuki capitalize on this to line his pockets once? Your guess is as good as mine.

  • Of all the People Hon : Michuki was suffering from this desease>
    How to Identify the Symptoms of Megalomania

    Megalomania is a psychopathological disorder where in the person experiences delusional fantasies of greatness, wealth, grandeur, omnipotence and superiority. The person with this type of mental illness will be obsessed with doing extravagant things, will think only about themselves, will not have any concern for others and will have lust for power and money. A megalomaniac person will also exaggerate his/her talent in an unrealistic egoistic way, consider them as unique and will be self centered. According to the experts, this mental disorder is related to Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) which means self-love. How and why this type of illness develops may be because of different behavioral characteristics, childhood and nature of parenting during childhood days. One of the best examples of a megalomaniac in the history was Adolf Hitler.

    TWP TIPS to identify the symptoms of megalomania:

    •Delusion of being superior to others
    •Delusion of greatness
    •Delusion of having great social and political power
    •Lack of empathy for anything
    •Delusion of importance
    •Violent tendencies
    •Self centered
    •Want others to be fear of him
    •High self confidence
    •Manipulation over others
    •Feeling of being a famous person
    •Symptoms of mania or paranoid disorder
    •Belief of being a god like figure
    •Bad temper
    •Frequent depressions
    •Mood swings
    Though a megalomaniac posses himself o have a high esteem and ego, he will have a very low self-esteem and fragile ego.

  • The story of Michuki is the story of the genesis of this culture of tribalism, corruption, greed and impunity that we are fighting to end. When you read the story of how he was a permanent secretary at age 32 and was allocated arcres and arcres of land for free or for vitually nothing. These are billionaires who got their wealth by stealing from the government coffers then legitimazing it. They created the culture in the civil services where everybody wants to make it by stealing from the government like they did. When you tell the story of Michuki, you tell the story of how we got where we are today. It is going to take a generation or two to out do what they did. I hope his death also marks the end of an era and the beginning of a new era.

  • Michuki was NOT a legend, but an ethnic nationalist who by his actions and utterances signalled his belief that the same Kikuyu people he fought as a colonial functionary now had a divine right to rule Kenya or generally dominate the political and economic arena…he was a tribalist who upheld and broke law equally.. Perhaps it was the training ground of a colonial-era district officer that made Mr Michuki believe in two sets of laws — a nice and orderly version for the genteel upper-crust elite; and a crude and brutal one for the ‘natives’ who did not know their place in the natural order of things.

  • Michuki,do you remember the standard raid,what did you say, ”When you rattle a snake expect to be bitten” .You have been bitten indeed.

    Michuki,do you remember issuing orders to all media houses to stop live broadcast of election results to give room for topping up at the KICC. These were your words,”Lets go Rwanda way”

    Now that you are gone for good mzee,we are enjoying all the freedom you denied us in 2007 when you stopped all live broadcasts,

    And by the way why did you refuse to die,you died long time ago probably on monday but you stopped live broadcast of your death,we came to know it yesterday mzee,i hope there is enough githeri,mbosho and njahii in your grave to keep you going.

  • We have to build a country of law and not a country of men. Michuki was a true kikuyu nationalist and a strong kikuyu leader. He was very committed to the kikuyu hegemony an unapologetic to the kikuyunization of Kenya. I had an opportunity to engage him and was very impressed with his mind. He was sharp, witty and very persuasive. He was also a good politician who knew his audience and was able to heap Raila with praise when addressing us. He also knew how to uplift the Kikuyus and feed them red meat. I remember when he told kikuyus to not only sleep well but that they should go ahead and ngorota because kibaki was going to be back in the state house. He was a ruthless, efficient man who planned and believes in mission accomplishment. He was a general you wanted on your side but dreaded against you. He made sure kibaki went back to the state house and did not give a damn if laws were broken or crimes were committed or if people died. Like all well planned crimes, there are always mistakes and unforeseen consequences. They never saw the warriors coming. The actions of the warriors triggered an international situation which triggered the Hague. Uhuru is the sacrificial lamb. He has to be feed to the beast so that the old kikuyu men who stole the elections can die in peace. RIP

  • Michuki was a very lucky man on earth despite some of things that he did. He lived longer than 99% of his peers, he lived well and he was very successful in his last project to make sure a kikuyu stays in power. His decision to steal the elections for Kibaki caused a lot of lives to be lost but earned him a state funeral that even Dedan Kimathi never got. Some of those people who died during the PEV were buried without any ceremony at all. Michuki assured himself a state burial by keeping his tribesmate in power. He was getting ready for another project, to make sure Uhuru, another Kikuyu succeeds Kibaki. Kikuyu hegemony was his latest commitment and mission in life and the community’s hegemonists have definitely lost a very important general and they ought to mourn. Most men lose the fire of tribalism or racism or religious bigotry or jihadism or zionism or anti-Americanism as they grow older. Michuki was a kikuyu hegemonist to his death. Good for him, however, the notion that those of us who have opposed his kikuyu hegemony design should also join in weeping uncontrollably while rolling in the dust to commemorate his death is asking just asking too much. It is also a sign of chauvinistic arrogance that Michuki represented so well.

  • in one stroke back in 2008, Michuki etched his name among the wretched of Kenya. His actions, together with Muthaura and Gicheru, plunged Kenya into a mini civil war that ultimately caused the loss of 1500 lives.

    He unleashed terror in parts of Nyanza, where people were shot in the head and back like wild animals. Mr Michuki could have let the results of the 2007 elections land wherever the electorate wanted. He did not!!!! Instead he imposed his will on the people of our beloved country and plunged us into civil unrest.

  • michuki rules was just a cover up to make money and gain control of the transport sector. his negativos outweighed his positives and his death is a good thing for the country. kenya will be a better place without this tribal kingpin

  • Uhuru took the PEV beating on behalf of Michuki who should have been sent to The Hague.No wonder Michuki declared him Kikuyu King.

  • It’s sad we had to lose such a cheerful no nonsense and for once a performer in any of the ministries he was posted to. He will be remembered for taming the Matatu industry, Mungiki Menance and most of all cleaning up of the Nairobi river.

  • with the dedications flowing around Kimeendero you might think he was the Dalai Lama..

    is it that we find it convenient to send off people silently.. or it is due to our own personal shame that we could have done what they did if we were in their shoes…

    or can we blame culture for our exceptionally ‘good manners’

    Michuki’s travesties as a colonial D.O are known. a guy unafraid to finish african villagers supporting the mau mau..

    and in recent times willing to forcefully evict his neighbours using government money to expend his shamba in Kangema

    i will not forget to mention the stranglehold he and cronies have on coffee returns to the farmers. Out of frustrations many cut down their coffee bushes and planted eucalyptus trees. As the environment minister Michuki ordered them to cut down the trees because they absorbed too much water around the rivers. Talk about double loss. Yeah, another hardworking millionaire from Murang’a

  • Michuki: A guy who imported two containers of safety belts and speed governors before enacting his rules…………..postponed the opening of KPA’s cranes tender just to give his son time to finish registering a company that eventually was awarded the tender………who rattled a media house in the most barbaric manner that Moi never dared………and facilitated the importation of MAMLUKI…..even Moi had some sort of decency……..

  • Sad reminder that we have to meet our maker at some point . Speaking of Windsor, I hear that it was a joint venture with the jungu owners of Abercrombie and Kent, he was the owner of the land. I dont know how he conned them, but the club became fully his.

  • I will remember Michuki for bringing sanity into matatu industry and cleaning of nairobi river. No man is a saint so lets not focus on the negatives that we cannot substantiate. This man left a mark that if our politicians tried to emulate, Kenya would be a different country today. I choose to celebrate his life and public service.


    As a young District Commissioner, aged only 27, John Njoroge Michuki watched in dismay and anger one afternoon as a white couple stormed out of his office on realising that he, a black man, was the very Government official meant to attend to them.

    The Couple had anticipated to find a white administrator.

    This incident of 1961 at Nanyuki, Laikipia District, nearly 44 years ago, has remained a painful sore in the Internal Security minister’s mind. Mr Michuki, who has severally recounted this scene, is furious for having been rejected by some of the people he was meant to serve.

    So as it were, the Minister was baptised by fire from the word go. And from that time, Michuki who largely answers to the old colonial mentality, having schooled, raised and worked under the colonial Government has proved a no-nonsense firm and tough-talking man, more like the colonial governors.

    Described by many as ruthlessly efficient, Michuki has presided over his ministries successfully emerging as one of the best performing ministers in President Kibaki’s Government today.

    Only last month, he was declared winner of the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights’ Waziri award. Michuki received the award in recognition of his efforts to reform public transport.

    Born in 1932 at Iyego, Kangema in Murang’a District, Michuki went to Nyeri High School and then Mang’u High School where he and Kibaki did their “A” Levels. He later joined Worcester College, UK, where he studied administration and finance. On returning to Kenya, he became a D.O in 1958 in the colonial administration.

    He served as D.O in the then Fort Hall of Murang’a District, Vihiga Division and Busia Division in western Kenya between 1957 and 1961.

    At independence, President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, appointed him an under-secretary and then a permanent secretary in the Ministry of Finance in 1965. Here again, aged 33, he stepped in the shoes of another white man, Mr John Butter, who was just retiring.
    The link between his past and his current tough stance is clearly evident. The reforms in the transport sector, for instance, were initially perceived as radical and impossible. But today, matatus are fitted with speed governors, seat belts, have a single colour with a yellow strip and uniformed personnel!

    The implementation was not a rosy affair and any weaker soul would have thrown in the towel. Ugly scenes of people trekking long miles to work, sleeping on pavements for lack of transport were the order of the day. In more serious cases, two or three commuters escaped death after dropping off from a moving train, for lack of alternative transport, and sustaining injuries. One of them, Christopher Waweru, even lost an arm.

    But the minister dismissed the victims as “adventurers”: “Kenya Railways has no standing commitment with anybody hanging onto the train without a valid ticket. We must all observe necessary safety measures,” he said.

    Before getting into active politics, Michuki served as chairman of the Kenya Commercial Bank from 1970-1979 when he attempted to capture the Kangema seat but lost to Joseph Kamotho. He won it in 1983 and was appointed to various assistant minister positions. He has been Kangema MP since the multi-party era in 1992.

  • Your statement that kimendere never stabbed anybody in the back provoked this response. I can count more than my fingers the people this old folk stabbed in the back. Lets start with former commish Hussein Ali. If you look at Michuki’s tenure as the Minister in charge of security, one can make an argument that Ali’s demise and subsequent nightmare at the hague started with this guy. I can assure you that Ali is one of the guys who are not shedding a tear for the old man. He did not only stab the commish in the back, he put the knife right in the guys heart.

    It is laughable how death is a great equalizer. Looking at the van bringing in the old man to the morgue and backing up to discharge its cargo, brings memories of all those people kimendere send to city mortuary. Lives snuffed too soon, children piled on top of their mothers. Unidentified body from Kayole brought in by a police landrover- with only a blood socked tag hinting at their identity. The crime- being jobless and suspected of being a mungiki.

    I guess i am just tired of hypocracy that death brings in us. Does death right all the wrongs and evil things people do? Are we just not brave enough to say good riddance? Doesnt the demons of the people he ordered crushed deserve to ding dong the old man in his sleep? Rattle him a little bit? Why does he deserve to rest in peace?

    I have no tear to shed for kimendere- totally feel nothing. Any patriot worth his salt should feel relieved.

  • In Kenya We celebrate mediocrity, we celebrate war mongers, sycophants, tribalists and people who believe in the supremacy of one ethnic group over another.

  • Michuki was not a Kenyan patriot, but an ethnic nationalist who by his actions and utterances signalled his belief that the same Kikuyu people he fought as a colonial functionary now had a divine right to rule Kenya or generally dominate the political and economic arena.

  • UNEP Pays Tribute to John Michuki, Environment Minister of Kenya

    Nairobi, 22 February 2012 – We join the Government and people of Kenya in mourning the passing of Honourable John Michuki, Minister of Environment of the Republic of Kenya. He served his country in many capacities over more than five decades with commitment and distinction. His energy, intellect, humour, loyalty to the nation and determination to make a difference earned him the admiration and respect of the people of Kenya and beyond.

    In his capacity as Minister of Environment, Honourable Michuki provided Kenya and Kenyans with a voice both on the national stage as well as the international arena when it came to addressing the sustainability challenges of our time.

    Always practical, at times irreverent, but ever focused on delivering results even when others claimed it could not be done, John Michuki has left a legacy of accomplishments.

    These range from the understanding and actions to realize his government’s vision of restoring and rehabilitating the Mau forest complex to championing climate change at key UN fora and pursuing arguing for the strengthening of UNEP at its headquarters in Nairobi.

    UNEP would like to express its deep appreciation to John Michuki for his support, guidance and unfailing support to our institution and work.

    We join his family, friends and the people of Kenya in bidding farewell to an exceptional man and an extraordinary life.

    Achim Steiner

    UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director

  • Former Cabinet Minister Karume dies
    Posted by YUNIA AMUNGA on February 24, 2012

    Former Cabinet Minister Njenga Karume is dead. He passed on at about 1am at the Karen Hospital where he has been undergoing treatment for cancer.

    Karume who was an active figure in the GEMA association had been battling prostate cancer.

    Karume died at the age of 83.

    His death comes barely four days after the demise of another cabinet minister John Michuki who died on Tuesday and is expected to be buried next week.
    President Mwai Kibaki has in the meantime sent a message of condolence to the family and friends of Njenga Karume following his death.

    Kibaki said despite his failing health, Karume exhibited great courage and passion for what he believed in.

    He stated that he shared great moments with him as a political ally and that he will be missed dearly.

    The Head of State further described him as an astute businessman and a quintessential Kenyan who rose from humble beginnings to build a business and political empire through sheer hard work and determination.


  • John Michuki
    Death of an old guardsman
    Feb 22nd 2012, 18:36 by J.L. | NAIROBI

    ON TUESDAY night, when the news broke that Kenya’s environment minister, John Michuki, had passed away in the Aga Khan hospital in Nairobi, Kenyans reacted with sorrow. Here was a big man who had actually done something for them. It was true, in a way. Mr Michuki served his country from before its independence and throughout his sickness. Those who worked with the 80-year-old politician on environmental issues were amazed at his energy and ferocity. Mr Michuki set out to save the Nairobi river from the sludge of human waste and to preserve the Mau forest for future Kenyans. As transport minister took on the anarchic minibus industry. He forced minibuses to use speed regulators, and the so-called Michuki rules—proper seats and seat belts—saved many lives.

    But as the country’s internal security minister, his hands were covered in blood. He was implicated in mass extrajudicial killings in 2007, in which hundreds of young Kenyan men were shot in the back of the head or bludgeoned to death for their alleged involvement in the Mungiki organised crime gang. And in 2006 Mr Michuki made a fool of himself by bringing to Kenya a pair of Armenian gangsters to shut down newspapers and television critical of the government. Since then, the country’s media have operated more or less freely.

    To many Mr Michuki was a bridge to an older Africa. The space between tribal traditions and the palatial Windsor Golf Club, which Mr Michuki built at the north end of Nairobi, can be measured in his life span. He was born in 1932 into a large polygamous Kikuyu family. Orphaned as a child, Mr Michuki left his rural home for Nairobi. He found work in a uniform shop sewing on buttons before battling his way through primary and secondary school. He was loyal to the crown in its bloody hammering of the Mau Mau insurgency. Choosing the British over his countrymen set him at odds with the founding myth of Kenya, but Mr Michuki was too intelligent and “no nonsense” to let it hinder his career. He won a scholarship to Oxford, and became a district commissioner. He was put in charge of newly independent Kenya’s treasury. He ran the Kenya Commercial Bank and got involved in politics. Like the then attorney-general, Charles Njonjo, Mr Michuki had an Anglophile sense of things “being done properly.”

    To Mr Michuku, that meant keeping his buttons polished and being on time, but it did not mean transparency. He was part of the cabal of Kikuyu and Meru politicians, intelligence officers and businessmen who ran a state within a state and turned a blind eye to dodgy land and business dealings. President Mwai Kibaki yesterday called Mr Michuki a “true family friend and a dependable ally.” The shame was that his acuity and vigour were not more often put at the service of the common man. Historians will study his legacy, but Baobab readers can weigh in immediately.



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