Mwangi Kiunjuri’s Journey : From a Tout to a Doomed Cabinet Secretary

Mwangi Kiunjuri’s Journey : From a Tout to a Doomed Cabinet Secretary


Festus Mwangi Kiunjuri’s political career faced a storm on Tuesday morning after President Uhuru Kenyatta announced his sacking from the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries.

The unexpected announcement by the president left Kiunjuri’s name on the tongues of most Kenyans.

Former Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri

But how did Kiunjuri Festus Mwangi become a CS?

Born on April 29, 1969, Kiunjuri is a resident of Laikipia County.

He attended local primary and secondary schools after which he pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Education at Moi University.

However, before his teaching career took a course, the trained teacher shifted his focus to the transport industry.

Kiunjuri says he collected savings and bought a lorry which he used in Public service where he was a tout and a driver.

After graduation, Kiunjuri chose not to pursue a career in teaching but instead collected his savings and bought an old lorry.

It is in his role as a Taut that he interacted with locals and developed political interests.

In 1997 elections he clinched a Parliamentary seat at Nanyuki becoming the youngest MP at 28 years old.

He managed to reserve the parliamentary seat in consecutive 2002 and 2007 general elections.

Nonetheless, he shifted his interests to the Laikipia Gubernatorial seat in 2013 elections which he lost.

With the help of President Uhuru, Kiunjuri picked up broken pieces in 2015 after getting an appointment to the ministry of Devolution and Planning Cabinet Secretary.

This was after the sacking of his predecessor, Anne Waiguru.

In 2017, his attempt to vie for Nanyuki Gubernatorial seat once again was cut short by President Kenyatta who told residents that he needed him more as a Cabinet secretary.

It is after the 2017 general elections that the president transferred him to the Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries ministry.

Until his sacking on January 14, 2020, Kiunjuri experienced challenges in spearheading the Agriculture docket.

Among the notable challenges that he has faced is food insecurity in the country, food contamination and the recent locust manifestation in the northern part of Kenya.

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