Kenya’s first post-independence Attorney General Sir Charles Njonjo, popularly known as “The Duke of Kabeteshire”, is dead.
Njonjo, the only surviving member of Kenya’s independence Cabinet, passed away peacefully at 5am on Sunday morning at the age of 101 years, President Uhuru Kenyatta said in a statement.
In his message of condolence to the family, the Head of State said Njonjo’s death is a big blow not only to his immediate family, friends and relatives but to all Kenyans and the entire African continent because of his leading role in the founding of the Kenyan nation at independence.
“As a nation, we owe a debt of gratitude to Hon. Njonjo and his generation of independence era leaders for their selfless contribution to the laying of the solid foundation upon which our country continues to thrive,” Uhuru said.
“Kenya’s progressive constitutional and legal regime owes its robustness to Hon. Njonjo’s splendid work when he served as the country’s first post-independence Attorney General between 1963 and 1979, and as Constitutional Affairs Minister between 1980 and 1983.”
“…On behalf of the Kenyan nation, my family and on my own behalf, I send deepest and heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and relatives of Hon. Njonjo, and indeed all Kenyans.”
Njonjo’s death comes three months after viral false reports that he had passed on.
In a statement to newsrooms, the centenarian termed the reports as “a great exaggeration”.
“Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated. I am well and enjoying my weekend at home as we celebrate Utamaduni Day,” he said on October 10, 2021.
So wide spread were the rumours that his Wikipedia page had already been updated.
Njonjo, who got hitched at the age of 52, always maintained a healthy lifestyle.
“I look after myself. I swim daily; I used to do 12 laps, now I do only seven. I also have a bicycle which I ride for 10 minutes daily, on top of the treadmill which I do for 10 minutes daily,” he previously stated.
He was also a business mogul. Some of the properties associated with him include Sankara Hotel, Nairobi College House, Kolobot Gardens and the Norfolk Towers.
As for land, Njonjo’s family reportedly owns the 60,000 acre Solio ranch.
His estate is valued at roughly Sh7 billion.