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Not just a husband: Samuel Mburu, the man behind Nakuru Governor Susan Kihika

 Governor Susan Kihika with her husband Sam Mburu during the swearing-in ceremony at Nakuru Agricultural showground on August 25, 2022. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

We have heard all of the sometimes bad taste cliches "behind every successful man there's a woman rolling her eyes," or "behind every great man there is a woman keeping him in line."

But believe it or not, there is a different way we should look when it comes to the newly inaugurated Nakuru Governor Susan Kihika.

For long Mr Samuel Mburu Kamau popularly known as Kiongozi (loosely translated to mean a leader in Kiswahili) has been overshadowed by the meteoric rise of his wife Susan, to a point that when he appeared alongside her during the swearing of the third Nakuru governor, it excited the masses.

Not much can be found in the public domain about Mburu's private life but the 40-year-old businessman is a close ally of President-elect William Ruto and has been a key figure in his political campaigns since 2007.

Mburu, who married Nakuru Governor Susan Kihika in November 2020 at a traditional ceremony that was attended by Dr Ruto, met her in 2012 in Nakuru at the height of the 2013 political campaigns.

"She was trying her hands in politics and I was involved in the same under the current Deputy President, WE started their friendship, then courtship and the rest is history," said Mburu's close friend, describing that his wife is a strong-willed woman and a go-getter.

According to his close friends, Mburu went to Mosocho Academy in Kisii County before joining Cardinal Otunga High School- Mosocho between 1997 and 1998.

"He later joined Njoro Academy to finalize his secondary school studies," revealed the friend who did not wish to be named because he does not speak for him.

Attempts by The Standard for a one-on-one interview with him after the inauguration of his wife as the governor were futile because he said he had a busy schedule that might run up to months.

"I have a busy schedule that runs from now until when the President-elect is sworn into office. I will give you people the interview at the right time," he told The Standard.

However, Mburu admitted spending most of his adulthood in Nakuru City where he operated a soft-drink distribution business in Shabab Estate that was his 'hustle.'

"I have been in politics since 2007 with the deputy president in ODM where I worked with the late Fidel Odinga (Raila's son) and Oscar Sudi (the Kapseret MP). But I will tell you more during the interview," he said before cutting us short.

Contrary to claims that his parents were charcoal sellers in Solai, Nakuru County, a close family member told The Standard that they were actually business people operating a wholesale shop in Kisii County.

"The family had a wholesale shop in Kisii town that retailed in mattresses, blankets and other household goods. They were never charcoal burners or sellers as alleged in social media. That is not true," said the relative, who grew up with Mburu and the parents since his teenage years.

After Mburu's soda distribution business collapsed, he formed Landmark Freight Services Company, which was based in Mombasa and has two branches in China.

About his family life, Mburu divorced Beatrice Wanjiku, the mother of his two children before he married Ms Kihika.

Mburu and Wanjiku both filed for custody of the children and the lady further wanted to be awarded Sh757,000 as monthly maintenance for the children for two years.

The court decided to award joint custody and Sh597,000 monthly maintenance including Sh140,000 for food.

Many in Nakuru acknowledge Mburu's accomplishment alongside those of his wife, as powerful and a gentleman.

"He is a generous man and very supportive when it comes to his wife's political ambition. He has been on her side throughout her political exploits as the speaker, senator and now governor," said Nakuru East MP David Gikaria during Susan's swearing-in ceremony at the Nakuru ACK showground.

His net worth is not yet known to the public but to Nakuru residents, he is a tycoon, who owns a huge number of residential flats, a fleet of flashy vehicles and rental properties in Nakuru and Nairobi.

In the run-up to the 2017 General Election, Mburu is believed to be behind Kihika's flashy campaign for the senatorial seat.

She conducted a high-profile and well-oiled campaign, crisscrossing the county in a fleet of luxurious Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) and a chopper.

The campaign lasted for almost one year before the election. Susan won the seat with a huge margin of over 200,000 votes.

Mburu and Susan tied the knot in a traditional wedding on November 7, 2020 in Laikipia that was attended by the deputy president and a host of leaders.

Susan's political start started shining in 2013 when she floored 12 men to become the inaugural Nakuru County Speaker.

Her meteoric rise in politics has baffled friend and foe alike. She quickly rose to the top to become Nakuru Senator in 2017 before her inauguration as the third governor on August 25, 2022.

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