Little known Zacharia Mwangi Njeru leapt from a Ward administrator in Nakuru County to a full Cabinet Secretary courtesy of President William Ruto Tuesday, September 27, 2022.
In a feat only comparable to Joseph Ole Lenku’s conversion from a mid-level hotel manager to interior minister in 2013, Njeru landed the expansive Lands docket in the cabinet to take over from Farida Karoney.
Since 2015, he had been a sub-county administrator and now becomes the first full cabinet minister from Nakuru, some say, since independence.
Between 2008 and 2013, Njeru was a nominated councillor in the municipal council of Nakuru and served as chair finance and general purpose committee. In 2010 he was elected chairman of the public health and AIDS committee of the Council.
A hustler, Njeru started his work life as a sales admin at DT Dobbie in 1995 before he shifted attention to hawk insurance policies. He served as an executive at Madison Insurance in Eldoret (1998 to 2000) before crossing to Blueshield as branch manager in Meru.
Later he was promoted to become the company’s regional manager Rift Valley (2003 to 2007), before dabbling in politics.
In his three-page CV, Njeru cites his role as chairman of Nakuru University Student Association during his days at “Egerton, Moi, Nairobi and Kenyatta Universities.” He credits his experience with liaising with insurance agents and brokers, soliciting new clients, identifying new markets and gathering market intelligence.
“As chairman of public health I managed to initiate the building of three clinics and one maternity facility, get a new ambulance for the department and initiated the buying of a new site for dumping,” he says in the CV.
Njeru went to Bondeni primary school in Nakuru, Nakuru Day Secondary School and later Nyandarua High School. He studied BSc Information Science at Moi University and enrolled for Masters in Public Administration at Mt Kenya University in 2015.
He has also done courses at the Kenya School of Government. His referees include a commercial manager at one of the regional water and sanitation companies, a deputy county commissioner and a managing director of a private company.
Born in 1966, Njeru indicates on his CV that his salary and remuneration are negotiable and that his availability is immediate.