Charity Ngilu

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Charity Ngilu
Hon. Charity Kaluki Ngilu at Opening Session.jpg
2nd County Governor of Kitui
Assumed office
22 August 2017
DeputyDr. Wathe Nzau
Preceded byJulius Malombe
Cabinet Secretary for Land, Housing and Urban Development
In office
15 May 2013 – 29 March 2015
PresidentUhuru Kenyatta
Minister of Water and Irrigation
In office
17 April 2008 – 2013
PresidentMwai Kibaki
Minister of Health
In office
3 January 2003 – 6 October 2007
PresidentMwai Kibaki
Member of Parliament
for Kitui Central
In office
29 December 1992 – 2013
Personal details
Born (1952-01-28) 28 January 1952 (age 70)
Machakos, Kenya Colony
Political partyNARC,
Social Democratic Party
Alma materSt. Paul's University (BA)

Charity Kaluki Ngilu (born 28 January 1952) is a Kenyan politician and the second governor elected for Kitui County. She unsuccessfully vied to be President of the Republic of Kenya in 1997.[1] She served as Minister for Health from 2003 until 2007 and Minister of Water and Irrigation from April 2008 to 2013. She also served as Cabinet Secretary for Land, Housing and Urban Development from 2013 until 2015.

Ngilu was born in Mbooni, Makueni District in 1952. She was educated at Alliance Girls High School,[2] then worked as a secretary for Central Bank of Kenya, before becoming an entrepreneur. She acted as a director of a plastics extrusion factory.

Along with Joyce Laboso and Anne Waiguru,[3] Ngilu is one of three women who became Kenya's first female governors in 2017.[3]

Political life[edit]

Ngilu was elected to represent the Kitui central constituency seat in 1992 on a Democratic Party ticket. She was reelected to the same seat and ran for president in the 1997 general election on a Social Democratic Party of Kenya ticket, finishing fifth behind the eventual winner, Daniel arap Moi. Along with Wangari Maathai, she became the first ever female presidential candidate in Kenya.

Later, she joined National Party of Kenya. In the December 2002 general election, her party was part of the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC). The coalition went on to win the elections, and President Mwai Kibaki appointed her as Minister of Health when he named his Cabinet on 3 January 2003. She was also appointed NARC chairperson.

Ngilu was seen as a new school member in the government, as opposed to old school members like John Michuki and President Kibaki. However, she was left stranded after the Liberal Democratic Party left the coalition after the defeat of the Government-sponsored draft constitution, while most of the remaining NARC members founded the new Narc-Kenya party led by Martha Karua.

On 5 October 2007, Ngilu announced her support for the Orange Democratic Movement and its presidential candidate, Raila Odinga, in the December 2007 general election;[4][5] she has compared Odinga to Nelson Mandela.[4] She initially said that she was remaining in the government, despite backing Kibaki's main rival.[5] However, her dismissal from the government by Kibaki was announced on 6 October.[4][6]

Ngilu was re-elected to her seat from Kitui Central in the December 2007 parliamentary election.[7] Kibaki won the presidential election according to official results, but this was disputed by the ODM, and a violent crisis developed. The crisis was eventually resolved with a power-sharing agreement,[8][9] and in the grand coalition Cabinet named on 13 April 2008[9] and sworn in on 17 April,[8] Ngilu was appointed as Minister of Water and Irrigation.[9]

Ngilu showed support for Raila Odinga in running for Presidential bid in Kenyan elections 2013.She later launched a presidential bid through her Narc Political Party, ultimately choosing to run for Kitui County senator and losing to David Musila in the process.[10]

Following her failed bid, Ngilu was named Cabinet Secretary for Land, Housing and Urban Development by president Uhuru Kenyatta, but she resigned from the post following corruption allegations.[11]

Kitui County Governor[edit]

Ngilu ran for governor of Kitui County in the 2017 general election, beating incumbent Julius Malombe and becoming one of three elected women governors.[12]

Directives on Environmental Protection[edit]

Charity Ngilu's tenure as Kitui County Governor began with controversial and otherwise popular decisions including banning sand harvesting and the burning and transportation of charcoal in the county. The directive according to Ngilu was in the interest of environment protection in the county.[13] The ban on charcoal transportation brought about allegations of ethnic incitement. This resulted in the summoning and questioning [14] of Ngilu by the National Cohesion and Integration Commission. Kiambu County Governor Ferdinand Waititu proceeded to sue[15] Charity Ngilu for incitement. Ngilu's move attracted defence[16][17] from leaders in the lower eastern region of Kenya, also known as Ukambani. Ngilu secured a court order barring the police from arresting her over the charcoal row.[18] Implementation of the charcoal transportation ban was problematic with allegations that Kitui County government officials were colluding with charcoal transporters to undermine Ngilu's directive.[19] The problem also attracted public opinion on how best to effect the ban.[20]

Relationship with County Assembly[edit]

In the first two years of her tenure as Governor, Charity had a strained relationship with members of the Kitui County Assembly. In December 2018, Charity was accused of delaying the release of salaries to members of the County Assembly.[21] Charity and members of the assembly were reported to develop an improving working relationship in 2019.[22][23][24] Charity accused the assembly of unduly delaying the passing of a supplementary budget until May 2020 with one month remaining to the end of the financial year.[25]

Troubled County Public Service Board Appointments[edit]

In the first half of 2020, her nominees to the County Public Service Board (CPSB) were rejected by the County Assembly.[26][27] The term of the county's first Public Service Board had expired in 2019. The rejection arose after what Charity Ngilu considered an unjustified delay that she blamed on the Assembly Speaker Mr. George Ndoto.[28] Charity went on to blame the rejection of her nominees on what she considered interference in local politics by Kalonzo Musyoka, the Wiper Democratic Party leader.[29][30]

The delayed appointment of members of the County Public Service Board was reported to hinder the hiring of extra healthcare workers to enhance the county's fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.[31]

Law Society of Kenya Blacklist[edit]

On 16 January 2012 the Law Society of Kenya identified Ngilu as one of the public officials have been mentioned adversely in various reports on issues ranging from corruption to economic crimes. The society advised voters not to vote those mentioned in the report as they had previously compromised.[32]

Censure motion 2013[edit]

In November 2013, the 11th Kenyan parliament debated about her conduct as the cabinet secretary for Land, Housing and Urban Development.[33] The parliament was acting on recommendations by a special committee whose mandate was to investigate how she appointed a new director-general at her ministry without involving the parliament as provided for in the constitution of Kenya.[34]

Personal life[edit]

Her husband, Michael Mwendwa Ngilu, died on 1 July 2006 in South Africa. Charity Ngilu has three children.


  1. ^ "Evewoman : Charity Ngilu:Kenya's first female presidential candidate".
  2. ^ "Alliance Girls High School: Historical Perspectives". 28 February 1948. Archived from the original on 3 September 2011. Retrieved 9 August 2011.
  3. ^ a b Mabel, Winnie (29 July 2019). "Meet Bomet Governor Joyce Laboso's rarely seen husband and handsome sons". - Kenya news. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  4. ^ a b c Alex Kiprotich and Ben Agina, "Kibaki finally fires Ngilu" Archived 12 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine, The Standard (Kenya), 7 October 2007.
  5. ^ a b Magreat Kalekye, "Ngilu states her political stand" Archived 22 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine, Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, 5 October 2007.
  6. ^ "Kenya opposition kicks off campaign, says 3 supporters shot", Associated Press (International Herald Tribune), 6 October 2007.
  7. ^ Votes per candidate in Kitui Central Archived 6 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine, Electoral Commission website.
  8. ^ a b "Odinga sworn in as Kenya PM" Archived 26 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine, Al Jazeera, 17 April 2008.
  9. ^ a b c Anthony Kariuki, "Kibaki names Raila PM in new Cabinet"[permanent dead link],, 13 April 2008.
  10. ^ Kenya: Ngilu Promises to Provide Basic Needs
  11. ^ Shiundu, Alex; Ndegwa, ALPHONCE. "Five Cabinet Secretaries axed in reshuffle as two MPs nominated". The Standard. Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  12. ^ "Kenya's first women governors: Ngilu, Laboso, Waiguru flying high after vote". The Star, Kenya. Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  13. ^ Ngilu on burning of charcoal lorry in Kitui, archived from the original on 18 December 2021, retrieved 2 August 2019
  14. ^ "Illegal charcoal trade lands Charity Ngilu in trouble". Daily Nation. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  15. ^ Obura, Fredrick. "Ngilu-Waititu charcoal war heads to court". The Standard. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  16. ^ "Kitui charcoal ban: Kalonzo defends Ngilu in incitement probe". The Star. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  17. ^ Mutua, Makau. "No one with a good conscience can oppose the charcoal ban". The Standard. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  18. ^ "Court stops police from arresting Ngilu". Daily Nation. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  19. ^ Reporter, Mauvoo (16 March 2019). "Kitui County officials working with charcoal traders despite ban « Mauvoo News". Mauvoo News. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  20. ^ Muthama, C. (17 February 2018). "Opinion: Here is the best strategy Ngilu should use to enforce charcoal trade ban « Mauvoo News". Mauvoo News. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  21. ^ Mwangangi, J. (16 January 2019). "Kitui County executive withholds December salaries for MCA's « Mauvoo". Mauvoo.
  22. ^ Mwangangi, J. (15 May 2019). "Kitui MCAs make about turn, promise to work with Governor Ngilu « Mauvoo". Mauvoo.
  23. ^ Mulatya, R. (15 December 2019). "Reprieve for Kitui residents as MCAs and Executive burry the hatchet « Mauvoo". Mauvoo.
  24. ^ "Ngilu, MCAs agree to end budget impasse". The Star.
  25. ^ Mulatya, R. (31 May 2020). "Ngilu takes on Kitui MCAs over Supplementary budget « Mauvoo". Mauvoo.
  26. ^ Mulatya, R. (14 May 2020). "Blow to Ngilu as MCAs reject Kitui Public Service Board « Mauvoo". Mauvoo.
  27. ^ Muasya, Philip. "Assembly rejects Ngilu pick for board". The Standard.
  28. ^ Mulatya, R. (1 May 2020). "Ngilu and Ndoto trade blame on County Public Service board « Mauvoo". Mauvoo.
  29. ^ Mulatya, R. (16 May 2020). "Ngilu blames Kalonzo after MCAs fail to approve CPSB « Mauvoo". Mauvoo.
  30. ^ "Governor Ngilu accuses Kalonzo of orchestrating Kitu Assembly dissen". NTV Kenya. NTV Kenya. Archived from the original on 18 December 2021.
  31. ^ Mulatya, R. (13 April 2020). "Kitui hits dead end on recruitment of Healthcare workers « Mauvoo". Mauvoo.
  32. ^ "LSK Blacklists Leaders Over Integrity". Citizen Media. 16 January 2013. Archived from the original on 18 January 2013. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
  33. ^ Mosoku, Geoffrey. "Legislators threaten to initiate removal of Charity Ngilu if she doesn't resign and if the President doesn't sack her". Standard Newspaper. Retrieved 8 November 2013.
  34. ^ Ngirachu, John (5 November 2013). "Charity Ngilu land report splits House". The Daily Nation. Retrieved 8 November 2013.

External links[edit]