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HomeWealthThe Kenyan Billionaires Who Started Their Careers As Police Officers 

The Kenyan Billionaires Who Started Their Careers As Police Officers 

Making it into the billionaire club in Kenya is no walk in the park but it’s not entirely impossible. According to the latest Knight Frank Wealth Report, the number of dollar millionaires under the ages of 40 went up in 2021 by 3,362 from 3,323 in 2020.

The report projected that the number is expected to jump to 4,274 by 2026. As it stands, Kenya has 42 billionaires who are worth more than Ksh 3 billion (US$30 million) according to another report released by the same firm in 2021. 

WoK highlights the billionaires who kick-started their careers as police officers.

Jimi Wanjigi

Jimi Wanjigi is a renowned businessman and entrepreneur who made his billions from being awarded lucrative infrastructure related tenders by various African countries’ governments. The businessman has recently expressed his interests to vie for the presidential seat in the forthcoming general elections slated for August 9, 2022 elections.

The businessman turned politician started off as a police reservist and rose to the rank of inspector before he was unceremoniously kicked out. According to a report by the National Police Service (NPS), Wanjigi was shown the door for allegedly threatening his fellow colleagues at work. 

Jackson Kibor

Mzee Jackson Kibor is a billionaire who has acquired his vast wealth over the years through farming and in real estate. The journey of the 87 year old began after he dropped out of primary school due to lack of school fees.

He started doing menial jobs in other people’s farms before going for the Kenya police recruitment where he was successfully picked. While at the Kenya Police, he participated in the Darts competition emerging as the best player in East Africa. He won a car and a total prize of Ksh 35,000.

He acquired a loan worth Ksh 55,000 from a local bank and added up to his money which he used to buy his first 836 acres of land. The billionaire planted maize in the land and practiced dairy farming.

Jackson Kibor continued saving and acquiring more land from white settlers who were fleeing Kenya  to their motherland as Kenya geared to attain its independence. Currently, he owns 836 acres of land in Kipkabus, 357 acres in Moiben, 1,543 acres in Kabenes and 1,160 acres in Kitale among many others.

James Kanyotu

James Kanyotu was a billionaire who accumulated vast wealth during the regimes of the founding father Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and his successor president Daniel Arap Moi. Famously known as the ‘Chief Spy’ Kanyotu managed to hide his face and identity from the public until when he finally retired in late 1991.

Born in Kirinyaga County, Kanyotu joined the law enforcement space as an inspector of police Grade 1 and worked his way up to become the national deputy head of intelligence. He rose to become the head of the Directorate of Security Intelligence famously known as Special branch and now National Intelligence Service (NIS).

He is accredited to have played a major role in stopping the coup organized by Raila Odinga against President Moi’s regime. His face was publicly exposed and identity revealed when he was lined up to testify during the Ksh 60 billion Goldenberg scandal investigations.

The death of the spy chief on February 13, 2008 brought the usual family wrangles over his wealth that is estimated to be Ksh20 billion. He did not leave a will. 

James Mageria

The late James Mageria is the co-founder of Karen Hospital. He passed away in September 2021 but his story is one that can’t go untold. His journey began in the early 70s when he completed his secondary education at the prestigious Alliance High School.

He then joined the police force where his colleagues say that he was a man driven by honesty and integrity. This led him to rise through the ranks to become a Commandant of the famous Kiganjo Police Training College in 1996.

He later came to Nairobi where headed the city’s traffic department. He held various roles and positions during the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta’s regime including the Chairman of the Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK). He was also among the owners of the land that Daystar University sits on.

Also Read: The Richest People In Ukambani And Businesses They Own

Harun Mwau

Harun Mwau is a renowned businessman and politician who previously served as Member of Parliament representing Kilome Constituency. In 2017, the billionaire was ranked by Forbes among the wealthiest individuals in Africa.

He however started his career as a police officer while in his 20s. During his time in the law enforcement unit, he participated twice in the 1968 and 1972 summer Olympics.

He was however shown the door after refusing to save his beard and that’s when he decided to join politics. In 1992, he founded a political party – the Party of Independent Candidates of Kenya (PICK) whereby he unsuccessfully vied for the presidential seat.