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A tale of two Njoroges

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Late John Njoroge Michuki and Dr Patrick Ngugi Njoroge CBK governor

Late John Njoroge Michuki and Dr Patrick Ngugi Njoroge CBK governor

One owned vast estates in the country; the other has no single investment in Kenya. One had a wife and six children; the other is unmarried and childless. One was old and stooping, the other relatively younger and sprightly.

One did not mind the perks that came with a government job, the other did.

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One lived in a posh home near suburban Muthaiga, the other prefers a simple hostel away from Muthaiga. One swore by his word, the other swears by the bible. One is dead, the other is alive.

They are oddities, these two Njoroges. One was a member of exclusive golf and country clubs in the country, wining and dining with the uber rich, yet crafted and implemented regulations that granted relief to the not-so-rich.

The other is a member of a pro-poor religious institution populated by lay people, with whom he eats and sleeps, but is charged with handling all of Kenya’s riches.

If the first Njoroge were alive, he would thank the second one every time he went to the bank and found his monies safe.

If the second Njoroge were to survive a road accident, he would thank the first for making use of seatbelts mandatory for motorists.

The first Njoroge tamed rogue matatus, the second one tames such banks. The first one shot down bloodthirsty gangs and turned a dirt-brown Nairobi River to a crystal clear stream, literally.

The other is shooting down miscreant banks, and cleaning up the financial services sector, figuratively. The first Njoroge was willing to break the law in order to enforce it, the other enforces the law so that it is not broken.

The integrity of the first Njoroge was questionable, but his efficiency was not debatable. The integrity of the other Njoroge is unquestionable, his efficiency arguable.

One was rich materially; the other is rich spiritually. The first Njoroge rode on comfortable limos, and now Kenyans ride in comfortable matatus.

The other Njoroge rides on the wings of a prayer, owns nothing beyond what is lawfully due to him, and fights an almost righteous battle to right the wrongs within the country’s financial sector.

There were a dozen or more transport ministers before the first Njoroge came on the scene.

There have been and will be many other transport ministers, but the first Njoroge is remembered as THE transport minister. Out of a handful of Central Bank Governors, the second Njoroge stands out.

As different as a sinner and a saint, yet very much alike. Doers. Implementers. Pioneers.

If two Njoroges can make so much difference in word and deed in so little time, what of two Maathais? Or two Mboyas? Two J.M. Kariukis? Two Pintos? Where is the other Maathai? Who is stopping the next Mboya from shining? Who has killed the next J.M. Kariuki? Who will give birth to the second Pinto? The first Njoroge is dead, long live the other!

 

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