In the world of politics and governance within the coastal region, few names command the kind of respect and recognition that Salim Mvurya does.
He is the current Cabinet Secretary for Mining, Blue Economy, and Maritime Affairs. In this article, WoK takes a look at Mvurya’s political career and personal life, shedding light on the man behind the public figure.
Early Life and Education
Salim Mvurya Mgala was born in 1970 in Kazandani village, Kwale. He schooled at Mavirivirini Primary School, where he sat for his KCPE.
He was then admitted to Mpeketoni secondary school where he sat for his KCSE.
In primary and high school, Mvurya served as the head boy and school captain respectively, hinting at the promise of a young man destined for greater things.
Higher Education and Early Career
Mvurya’s pursuit of knowledge took him to Egerton University, where he graduated with a degree in Agribusiness Management.
During his time at the university, he demonstrated leadership once again as the chairman of the Agribusiness department.
His commitment to education and excellence led him to earn a scholarship from the Ford Foundation’s International Fellowship Program, which took him to the University of Sussex in England for his master’s degree.
After completing his education, Mvurya embarked on a career dedicated to development and agriculture. In 1995, he started as a contractual employee at Rea Vipingu Plantations, where he served as a field monitoring officer. His dedication and passion for his work led to further opportunities.
He later joined the Tegemeo Institute of Development Policy and Agriculture as a research assistant.
Here, he worked on the Agricultural Investment Program, a significant project spanning 11 districts across the country. These experiences allowed him to gain invaluable insights into development planning and implementation.
Rising Through the Ranks
Mvurya’s career continued to ascend as he joined the Kwale Rural Support Program, a project under the Aga Khan Foundation.
For approximately two years, he served as a field officer, further deepening his knowledge of community development.
In 2000, Mvurya joined Plan International, where his rise through the ranks was swift. Within just a year and a half, he was promoted to the position of Product Unit Manager.
He continued to excel, eventually becoming an Area Manager and even acting as the Country Director for two months. These roles afforded him extensive experience in program management and development.
Political Career and Leadership
In 2013, Salim Mvurya decided to transition from development work to politics. He contested and won the gubernatorial seat in Kwale County, a position he held for two consecutive terms.
He first vied under the Orange Democratic Party but later switched allegiance to Jubilee. His deputy of 10 years had been Fatuma Achani, the current governor of Kwale. He has also been chairman of Jumuiya ya county za Pwani, a coastal economic block.
In 2017, it was announced that he would be the next chairman of the Council of Governors. However, the position was later awarded to Wycliffe Oparanya.
Net Worth and Salary
During vetting by the parliamentary committee in 2022, Mvurya stated his net worth to be sh 120 million, comprised of land, houses, bank accounts, and vehicles.
As a cabinet secretary, Mvurya earns a gross monthly salary of at least Ksh 924,000, a house allowance of Ksh200,000 and a market adjustment of Ksh169,600.
Family and Recent Controversy
While Mvurya’s professional life has been one of dedication and service, recent headlines have brought his personal life into the spotlight.
Earlier this year, a 29-year-old woman by the name of Yvonne Omazi sued Mvurya, arguing that she was his biological daughter and demanding financial support.
According to her, Mvurya had never denied being her father and supported her sporadically throughout her childhood but cut off the support once she reached high school.
Omazi, who works as a hotel waitress according to Pulse Kenya, said Mvurya had cut off communications with her and barred her lawyer from accessing him.
Through her lawyer, she claimed that Mvurya had promised to support her education and demanded a share of the Cs’ fortunes.
In response, Mvurya promised he would support her financially if the matter was mediated out of court.
Not much is known about Mvurya’s wife, Christine Mvurya. His mother, mama Sada Mgalla, passed away in 2021.
His son, Hassan Wanini Mvurya, was the best KCPE student in the coastal region in 2018, scoring 440 out of 500 marks. In an interview, he expressed the desire to pursue an engineering career.