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HomeWealthBillionaires Club: Top Ten Richest People From Nyeri County 

Billionaires Club: Top Ten Richest People From Nyeri County 

  • Nyeri is among the counties with the highest number of billionaires
  • These billionaires have invested in real estate, agriculture and thrived in politics

Nyeri county produced Kenya’s third president Mwai Kibaki (2002 to 2012) and the current deputy president Rigathi Gichagua. It ranks among the counties with the highest number of billionaires. 

The agricultural rich county is known for tea farming, coffee and dairy farming among other economic activities. 

WoK looks at the top ten richest people in Nyeri county in no particular order.

Ephraim Maina

Ranks among the richest Kenyans. He is the founder of Kirinyaga Construction Company, a civil engineering and construction company. Apart from Kenya, the company has spread its tentacles in South Sudan where they are constructing and upgrading roads. 

The 74 year old former senator unsuccessfully vied for Nyeri gubernatorial seat in 2022 election coming a distant third with 26,372 votes. 

Thuo Mathenge

He is another moneyed billionaire from Nyeri county. He was among the contestants in 2022 general elections where he came second with 81,467 votes in the gubernatorial seat. 

Thuo revealed in a past interview that he was the second largest employer after the Catholic church.

His businesses include, Bantu Africa Resort, a college, a wheat mill, a bakery, chicken and chips outlets in five major towns all under the BradeGate brand name.

Gideon Muriuki

He has been ranked as the best paid CEO over the years. The Co-operative Bank CEO was born in Mung’aria village in Tetu, Nyeri County on 1st of September 1964. His stake at the lender stands at 2.0 percent after he bought 14.6 million shares of the lender worth Ksh173 million in the six months to June 2023.

His take home in 2022 was Ksh397.1 million in direct compensation after he steered the lender to record a net profit of Ksh 16.5 billion.

Rigathi Gachagua

Kenya deputy president Rigathi Gachagua claimed his net worth was Ksh800 million during the 2022 deputy presidential debate. 

This is a far cry from the billions of shillings he was accused of laundering by the Asset Recovery Agency (ARA). The then Mathira MP was being investigated on how Ksh12.5 billion passed through his three accounts in a period of seven years. 

The DP said of these claims, 

“I have 200 million (in the frozen account) that is the money that is held. Ksh.64 million I worked in the Ministry of Lands and settlement, Ksh.10 million in Kenya Power, Ksh.33 million I got during my time in the Ministry of Livestock, another Ksh.46 million I worked in an organisation called Batek… I am worth Ksh.800 million minus the Ksh.200 million they are holding,” he said.

Peter Wanyaga Muthoka

He is the current Chancellor of Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST). Mr Muthoka is the founder and chief executive of the College of Banking and Finance of Kenya, founder and first chief executive of Export Promotion Council of Kenya and Kenya Commissioner General at Expo 2000 in Hannover, Germany.

Peter Kanyago

He was a long serving chairman of the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA). He found himself between a rock and hard place when reports emerged that he owned a tea brokerage firm, a conflict of interest in the tea industry.

The tycoon is also among Nyeri tycoons who provide catering services at the JKIA. 

He serves as chairman of Kenya Open Golf Ltd, a Director at Ecobank Tanzania, Corporate Insurance, Kenya Tea Packers Ltd (KETEPA), Chai Trading and Chinga Tea Factory.

Kibaki Family

By the time of his death, the third president of Kenya net worth was estimated at Ksh20 million. His children inherited his vast estate.

Dr Dan Gikonyo

He is a director at Karen Hospital, a high-end health facility founded by his wife Dr. Betty M. Gikonyo. He was born in Kiamabara village near Karatina town, in Nyeri County on 27 May 1950. He ranks among the wealthiest individuals from the county.

Simon Kabu

The most visible billionaire from the region. He grew up in the village and as he told the Parents magazine,

“I grew up in Nyeri and went to school without shoes but I was not any different from my classmates,” Simon was quoted. In a separate interview with Wode Maya, he revealed that he had crossed the billion mark.

“We thank God that we are now in the billionaires club officially. It means that our company is worth billions now,” said an elated Sarah shared.

Mutahi Kagwe

The former Health CS put his wealth at Ksh668 million, making him the then second richest CS in Uhuru Kenyatta’s inner circle. His powerful docket and with the many dealings of state officers, it will not come as a surprise if Kagwe crossed the billion mark by the time he was exiting his office.

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