Maina Wanjigi is the current chairman of Kwacha Group of companies. He is the father to the billionaire businessman Jimmy Wanjigi. He joined politics in 1969. Wanjigi spearheaded the cooperative movement when he was the Minister for Co-operative Development. Today, Saccos have grown such that renowned coops like Muramati have morphed into Unaitas Microfinance. Maina was honored by the President with the EGH (Elder of the Golden Heart) award which is the second highest national award after the CGH (Chief of the Golden Heart) reserved for heads of state as a long serving Cabinet Minister.
Maina Wanjigi occupied some of the top-most positions in the Civil Service before joining politics. He was Deputy Director of Agriculture, Director of Settlement and the Executive Director of the Industrial and Development Corporation (I.C.D.C)
Maina Wanjigi Family
Hon. Wanjigi has brought up a successful family. He was a long serving Cabinet Minister during the Moi-era. He joined politics at the early age of 38 years in 1969 and remained in politics for 25 years.
Maina Wanjigi Wealth
He is a successful businessman and is the current chairman of Kwacha Group. The man whose bio, A Shepherd Boy in Search of Virtue, was launched in 2013, made it big in business.
His Kwacha Group of Companies holds a controlling stake in the multi-billion Carbacid Investments, where Wanjigi has been chair for 40 plus years.
He also has stakes in Centum (where he was director at independence), East African Cables, KQ, Barclays, Total Kenya, Paperhouse Ltd, East Africa Office Equipment and real estate in Nairobi, Nakuru and Mombasa.
These are besides coffee estates in Murang’a, Nyeri and the 1,000-acre Gitamaiyu Coffee Estate in Ruiru, where milling and roasting is done. His businesses also include the extraction of bio-diesel from the Jatropha tree.
Hon Maina Wanjigi Education Background
Hon Maina attended Alliance High School before joining Makerere University, Uganda and Stanford University, California ‚USA. Many say that is an accomplished intellectual having gone through some of the most prestigious learning institutions.
Stephens, alongside Tom Mboya, Dr Gikonyo Kiano and Kariuki Njiiri, selected students for the airlifts at a time Wanjigi was an assistant agricultural officer in his native Murang’a, when Dr Kiano encouraged him to apply in 1958. Wanjigi was awarded with six other Africans, with David Hopcraft, the only white settler ever to apply for the airlifts.
But nabobs at the ministry couldn’t grant Wanjigi study leave to take up “this prestigious scholarship.”
Wanjigi resigned and earned a Bsc in agriculture in one year from the University of Connecticut. A Rockefeller Fellowship to Stanford saw him graduate with a Masters in Agriculture Economics.
Maina Wanjigi Political Career
Wanjigi joined politics at the early age of 38 years in 1969 and remained in politics for 25 years. During this period, he held some of the most impressive portfolio. As Minister for Tourism, he will be remembered for his vision of 1 million tourists per year target when the country was attracting only 250,000. As Minister for Cooperative Development, he introduced the concept of SACCO Societies which are now perhaps the most effective channels of financing the common man in Kenya.
Wanjingi was also the Minister for Tourism and MP for Kamukunji at one point, where he has a secondary school named after him in Eastleigh. He is arguably Kenya’s foremost corrupt-free politician.
Maina was Deputy Director of Agriculture, Director of Settlement and the Executive Director of the Industrial and Development Corporation (I.C.D.C)
As the Director of Settlement, he presided over the One Million Acre Project after independence and swears he never allocated himself even an eighth of a quarter of an acre!
He was honored by the President with the EGH (Elder of the Golden Heart) award.
Maina Wanjigi Philanthropy
Although he has been reasonably successful in business, Hon. Maina Wanjigi has throughout been heavily involved in community related programs. Maina Wanjigi initiated the first ever rural water reticulation scheme in his home area- the Gatango Water Project.
Gatango Water Project has continued to serve thousands of families in Kiru location and is in many ways fundamental to the fast growth of Kiriaini town which is almost equal to Murang’a district headquarters in economic activity.
He has donated money and land to build schools and churches. He reflects most fondly on the land on which the prestigious Resurrection Gardens in Karen is built. It was acquired from Him at a heavily discounted price by the late Cardinal Maurice Otunga, who was his friend and spiritual mentor.
He was the founding Chairman of the SOS Children Program in Kenya and served as such for 25 years during which the program developed into the largest Children’s program, not only in Kenya but in Africa.