Amos Muhinga Kimunya (born March 6, 1962) is a Kenyan politician and former Member of Parliament for Kipipiri Constituency, currently the outgoing Minister of Trade. He was Minister of Finance from 2006 to July 2008, when he resigned due to the Grand Regency Hotel scandal. Previously, he was the Minister of Lands and Settlement.
Early life and education
Kimunya was born in Kiambu and at about the same time his family relocated to the new Nyandarua District, where he grew up. He attended Njabini Boys High School in the 80s before joining the University of Nairobi.
He holds a Bachelor's degree in Commerce (Accounting) from the University of Nairobi. He is also a Certified Public Accountant (CPA, K) and a Certified Public Secretary (CPS, K). He previously served as the Chairperson of ICPAK which is the national body of Certified Public Accountants. In 2014 he was awarded a Global Executive Masters of Business Administration (GEMBA) from the United States International University - Africa. He was the top student that year in the program with a GPA of 4.0.
When the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) won the December 2002 general election, President Mwai Kibaki appointed Kimunya as the Minister of Lands and Settlement. He had been elected Member of Parliament for Kipipiri Constituency. On February 14, 2006 he was appointed as Minister of Finance by President Kibaki following the resignation of David Mwiraria, who had resigned to pave way for investigation into the Anglo Leasing Scandal.
Kimunya remained Finance Minister in the Cabinet appointed by Kibaki on January 8, 2008, following the controversial December 2007 election. After a power-sharing agreement was reached between Kibaki and Raila Odinga, both of whom claimed victory in the presidential election, Kimunya retained his post in the Grand Coalition Cabinet named on April 13, 2008.
On July 2, 2008, Kimunya lost a parliamentary vote of no confidence, which was based on concerns related to the sale of the Grand Regency Hotel. It was alleged that the hotel was sold for far less than its actual value when it was purchased by a Libyan company. In his defense, Kimunya asserted that he had a clean record of fighting corruption.
Kimunya resigned from the cabinet on 8 July 2008 to pave way for an independent commission to investigate the sale, in which he was involved, after intense public pressure for him to resign over his role in the sale of the hotel. A few days prior to his resignation, he had vowed to remain in his post and fight any attempt to force his resignation, going so far as to announce "I would rather die than resign!" Therefore, his resignation came as a surprise to many.
On 25 November 2008, an official inquiry cleared Kimunya of any wrongdoing. The commission's report was not made public.
Kimunya was reappointed to the cabinet by President Kibaki as Minister of Trade on 23 January 2009.
On August 15, 2009 his guard was shot dead by gangsters while driving Nairobi. Kimunya was not at the scene.
- "Kenya: Kibaki Names Cabinet", The East African Standard (allAfrica.com), January 8, 2008.
- "Kenya unveils coalition cabinet", BBC News, April 13, 2008.
- Anthony Kariuki, "Kibaki names Raila PM in new Cabinet", nationmedia.com, April 13, 2008.
- "MPs pass vote of no-confidence against Kimunya", Nationmedia.com, July 2, 2008.
- "Minister quits over Kenya hotel sum", Al Jazeera, July 8, 2008.
- Kenya hotel saga: FM off the hook
- PM announces cabinet reshuffle, Radio France International, 23 January 2009
- August 17, 2009: Kimunya’s guard killed in night attack