Meet Kenya’s only billionaire who never tested alcohol

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The late Laikipia Senator Godfrey Gitahi Kariuki was liked and hated in equal measure. On one hand, his love for politics, martial arts and investment made him the darling of many.

On the other, his leadership style as well as his dislike for corruption and alcohol won him quite a number of enemies.

Commonly known as GG Kariuki, he never shied away from taking on anyone suspected of mismanaging public resources and ensuring that every penny meant for the public was channelled to its intended purpose.

Before GG plunged into politics as Laikipia MP in 1963 aged only 29, he worked as a cook for a white settler. He would then fall in love with politics and, in an interview with The Standard, even compared it to religion.

“Politics, like religious ministry, is a calling. One must have a passion for people’s problems and get involved in solving them. Many people have commercialised politics and manipulate the ignorance of their electorate to their own advantage. If a politician is genuinely concerned about his people’s problems regardless of elections, then she or he is likely to last long,” he said, explaining why he had served in four regimes.


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