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Ex-powerful minister narrates how his wife sneaked him at night after President ordered him investigated

Ex-minister in tears while recalling incident

Former Attorney General Charles Njonjo narrates how his wife, Margaret, sneaked him at night after President Daniel arap Moi ordered him investigated

Former Attorney General Charles Njonjo on Tuesday eulogized his close friend, former Head of Public Service Jeremiah Kiereini – revealing some of the state secrets that he had held on during his many years in government service.

Njonjo, whose tribute was read on his behalf by his daughter Mary Njonjo, narrated how Kiereini had risked his life and career to meet up with Njonjo after former President Daniel arap Moi announced a judicial inquiry against the former Attorney General.

He was driven by his wife, in the middle of the night and had to be covered by a blanket to avoid being traced by state security, to meet up with his friend and confidant.

I remember the night we heard on the radio that a judicial inquiry had been set up to investigate me. I needed to see you. You were never one to take unnecessary risks but you agreed to meet me at a friend’s house. You assumed I would be followed so I had to come clutching under the seat of a car, hidden under a blanket. Thank you for taking that risk,” Njonjo said in the tribute read by her daughter.

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The former Constitutional Affairs Minister was overcome by grief and occasionally wept as his emotional tribute was read out.

"Take note that this is the last you will get to learning about state secrets, but I can confirm the person who drove him is Mrs Margaret Njonjo," Carey Ngini, the event's master of ceremony and son-in-law to the former AG, said.

Njonjo's tribute also answered a challenge that has been thrown at Kenya’s first Attorney General – writing a memoir about his time in government when his word was law.

You (Kiereini) wrote a about about your time in government, I never will. But I will always remember you as the finest Cabinet Secretary,” he said.

Kiereini died on May 14 and was cremated two days later. The family decided to hold a memorial to celebrate his life on what would be his 90th birthday.

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