Charles Njonjo

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Charles Njonjo when Kenyan Attorney General, c. 1970

Charles Mugane Njonjo (born 23 January 1920) is a former Attorney General of Kenya (1963 – 1979), and Minister of Constitutional Affairs (1980 – 1983). Charles Njonjo is also popularly referred to as "The Duke of Kabeteshire".[1][2]

Early Life and Career[edit]

Njonjo was the son of Josiah Njonjo, and received a degree in law from the Fort Hare University in South Africa. After Kenyan independence in 1963, Njonjo was appointed Attorney General. Njonjo registered the G.e.m.a. association, but would soon become an opponent of the group; in 1976, he charged some of its members including Kihika Kimani and Njenga Karume with treason. The order was soon overturned, however, by the president, Jomo Kenyatta.[3] Njonjo held the Attorney General's post until April 1980. The same year he was elected Member of parliament for Kikuyu Constituency and in 1980 he was appointed Minister of Constitutional Affairs in the government of Daniel arap Moi. In the early 1980s he was the chairman of the East African Wildlife Society.[4]

Miller Inquiry[edit]

In 1983 he was forced to resign and left public life, after a judicial inquiry concluded he had abused his office, amid allegations that he was trying to take over the presidency from Moi.[5]

Return to Public Life[edit]

In 1998 he returned to public life, and was appointed chairman of the Kenya Wildlife Service.[6] In October 2006 there were indications that Njonjo was attempting a comeback in Kenyan politics, including his show of support for Raila Odinga.[7]


  1. ^ Alan Rake (1993). Who's Who in Africa: Leaders for the 1990s. Scarecrow Press. p. 153. ISBN 0810825570. 
  2. ^ The Standard, July 11,2014
  3. ^ Daily Nation, December 4, 2009: The mid-air plot to block Moi succession — and the day Mzee had the last laugh
  4. ^ Swara Magazine, Vol. 6, No. 5, 1983
  5. ^ Kenya Cabinet Official Faces An Inquiry on 'Irregularities', The New York Times, June 30, 1983
  6. ^ Veteran Kenyan politician rehabilitated, BBC, July 10, 1998
  7. ^ The return of Charles Njonjo[permanent dead link], Kenya Times, October 27, 2006