By Kimani Kuria
Dr. Engineer Kibicho Karanja is a powerful Interior Principal Secretary who has unfettered access to former President Uhuru Kenyatta. He is a highly qualified civil servant, academician and research scientist.
He will be best remembered for the reforms he initiated together with Interior Security Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i such as raising the bar of entry into the police force. This is shifting the narrative that most Kenyans hold regarding the police officers in the country.
Dr. Kibicho is an avid supporter of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), and has been rallying up support for the report among Kenyans. This article looks into the life and intriguing facts about the Engineer.
Here is his story as told by WoK.
Age and Place of Birth
Dr. Kibicho was born on July 29, 1967 to Wakibicho Njogu and Kibicho Muthoni in Nairobi County where he spent his formative years.
He is University of Nairobi and the University of Cape Town alumni. He graduated from his undergraduate studies in 1991 after pursuing a Bachelor of Science. He proceeded for a graduate degree in the same institution from which he graduated after four years.
He then attained his Doctoral degree in Philosophy from South Africa’s leading institution of higher learning, University of Cape Town. His educational experience was Science focused with a knack for research.
The powerful PS kicked off his career 1992 as an assistant factory manager at the Kenya Tea Development Authority (KTDA). In 1993, Dr. Kibicho joined Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) in Thika, Kenya as a lecturer.
He headed the faculty of Mechanical Engineering for a period of 18 years and later on lectured in two other institutions – The University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and the Central University of Technology. In his last three years at the institution, he was the chairman of the mechanical engineering department at JKUAT.
Beyond the classroom, Dr. Karanja later served as a director at Affinity Ventures Limited and GreenUniverse Ventures Limited in 2007. These roles shaped his leadership propelling him to the role of Permanent Secretary in various departments.
He started with his role as Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, then in the Ministry of Industrialization and to date is in office as the PS of State Department of Interior.
Dr. Karanja has years of experience in research with his contributions shaping policies in Kenya and across the Scientific world. He has a production done in the study of wet scrubbing and efforts in sustainable energy and environmental conservation.
Wet scrubbing is a concept applied in industries to curb and minimize the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the environment. The Engineer has penned down studies on the utilization of coffee, rice husks and organic waste to manufacture briquettes as alternative fuel sources.
On his appointment as Interior PS, Kibicho said he had to quit alcohol as he was required to be alert all the time:
“I used to take alcohol moderately. But when I was appointed to this post (Security PS), I have never drunk because I know that I am required to be very alert and keen at all times,” he told chiefs and their assistants in Nyamira county.
His support for the BBI being fronted by President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister has earned him a backlash from Deputy President William Ruto supporters. The PS has been accused of riding roughshod on legislators perceived to be allied to the DP.
Dr Kibicho was accused of plotting the assassination of Dr. Ruto. A letter circulated on social media platforms by Dennis Itumbi suggested that a well orchestrated plot has been hatched by the PS to assassinate the DP. Kibicho rushed the reports.
Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru has also accused Kibicho of destabilizing her administration. She alleged that the PS had funded MCAs to impeach her.
She told the media of the woes she was facing at the time:
“I learnt with consternation that ill-informed impeachment motion was carried out with your (Kibicho) tacit support. You are the primary catalyst to my political problem….” part of her statement read.
Dr. Kibicho Karanja is a father of three children and has one wife named Wangari Githae. His children, Mutho, Kibicho, and Nyawira, were born and raised in Nairobi County.
Net worth and Assets
Dr. Karanja’s net worth and assets are not in the public domain.
Twitter – @ Dr. Eng. Karanja Kibicho
The former PS uses his Twitter platform to inform Kenyans on the developments occurring at the Ministry and projects that the ministry takes part in.