Home » Kenyan tycoon Charles Njonjo, country’s first attorney-general, passes away at 101

Kenyan tycoon Charles Njonjo, country’s first attorney-general, passes away at 101

by Omokolade Ajayi

Kenya’s first Attorney-General Charles Njonjo has died at his home in Nairobi following a brief battle with pneumonia.

Njonjo, who was the only surviving member of Kenya’s first post-independence Cabinet of Ministers, died at 5:00AM on Sunday morning at the age of 101.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who announced his death, called his passing a major blow not only to his immediate family, friends and relatives, but to all Kenyans and the entire African continent because of his leadership role in the establishment of the Kenyan nation.

“As a nation, we owe a debt of gratitude to Hon. Njonjo and his generation of independence era leaders for their selfless contribution to the laying of the solid foundation upon which our country continues to thrive,” he said.

Kenyatta offered his condolences to his family, friends and relatives, noting that the centenarian died not just as a national hero but as a symbol of Kenya’s progress throughout the years.

Njonjo, who once proclaimed himself the “Duke of Kabeteshire,” was a leading legal practitioner who served as Kenya’s attorney general from 1963 to 1979 and minister of constitutional affairs.

He was called to the bar at Gray’s Inn in 1952, the second African barrister after Argwings-Kodhek, who had been called to the bar in January 1951 at Lincoln’s Inn.

Njonjo also served as a member of parliament for the Kikuyu Constituency from 1980 to 1983.

Njonjo was reputed to be one of the wealthiest people in Kenya. His business holdings included stakes in the five-star Sankara Hotel and financial services giant CFC Holdings, as well as a real estate portfolio that included Norfolk Towers in Nairobi’s central business district.

Carey Ngini, Njonjo’s son-in-law, said the former attorney-general wished to be cremated after he died.

After his death this morning, his body was taken to Lee Funeral Home, where it was prepared for interment, as Njonjo’s family proceeded to Kariokor Hindu Crematorium, where he was cremated.

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