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Six things to know about Jeremiah Kiereini

As news about Jeremiah Gitau Kiereini’s passing spread on Tuesday morning, many remembered him for being the Head of Civil Service in President Daniel Moi’s era.

Here are six things to know about him:

1. He was the Permanent Secretary for Defense in President Jomo Kenyatta’s government

After Kenya gained independence in 1963, Kiereini who was by then a public servant continued to work in various positions and rose to a permanent secretary in the ministry of defense.

2. He became the third Head of Civil Service

When President Daniel Moi took over the presidency in 1978, he appointed Kiereini to head the public service, taking over from Geoffrey Kariithi.

3. He was a long serving East African Breweries Limited (EABL) chairman

Kiereini served as EABL chairman for a record 24 years where the company’s products were tagged ‘Kiereini waters.’

4. His tenure as CMC chairman was clouded with controversy

Kiereini’s public service suffered a blemish when he was accused of fleecing CMC motors using a foreign account, reports that he denied and had to for years clear his name stating that the allegations were malicious and that he remained true to serving diligently.

5. He was married to President Jomo Kenyatta’s nurse

Kiereini married Muringo Githae, was a UK-trained nurse who was Mzee Kenyatta’s nurse. Muringo was the sister to Prof Micere and Hon Njeru Githae, in a civil wedding on November 13, 1971. The couple had three children.

6. He bought his Karen home from coffee farming proceeds

Despite being in the public service for long, Kiereini bought his Karen home from proceeds of the 1970s coffee boom and he named it Gitamuri Gardens. Gitamuri in Kikuyu means ‘whipping’, a phrase Kiereini said was used to name his home to mean that he was whipping a thank you to himself by buying the home.