Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho rose through the ranks to wield massive power in the outgoing regime.
So powerful was Kibicho in President Uhuru Kenyatta’a government that even President-elect William Ruto felt that the PS was a threat to his State House bid.
Kibicho, at one point in the run up to the August 9 elections, was Kenya Kwanza’s top agenda during political rallies. He was accused of commandeering the deep state, that was hell bent to block Ruto.
But who is Kibicho? Kenyans.co.ke looks at his meteoric rise, from the world of academia to public service.
Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho addressing the press on Friday, August 5, 2022.
Kenyans.co.ke Karanja Kibicho was born in July, 1967 to Njogu kibicho and Muthoni Kibicho in Nairobi.
Prior to his appointment as the PS for Interior by Kenyatta, the PS in a past interview said he quit alcohol because the job demanded him to always be alert.
“I used to take alcohol moderately. But when I was appointed to this post , I have never drunk because I know that I am required to be very alert and keen at all,” Kibicho stated
President Kenyatta’s Executive Number one of 2019, made Kibicho a super PS. He chaired the powerful National Development Implementation Technical Committee which coordinates some of functions that had been previously allocated to the Deputy President.
He is among the most powerful individuals to have worked in Uhuru’s administration, winning his his trust most of the time.
The PS life started while in Kathaka Primary School, Kirinyaga county where he attained elementary education.
He is alumnus of the University of Nairobi, where he pursued a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in Mechanical Engineering and Master’s degree in the same field from the same institution.
Kibicho holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Cape Town
The powerful PS kicked off his career 1992 as an assistant factory manager at the Kenya Tea Development Authority (KTDA).
In 1993, he joined Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) in Juja, Kiambu County as a lecturer.
He headed the faculty of Mechanical Engineering for 17 years and later on went to lecture in Tanzania’s institutions – The University of Dar es Salaam and the Central University of Technology.
He served as a director at Affinity Ventures Limited and GreenUniverse Ventures Limited in 2007.
Kibicho was first appointed Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, then in the Ministry of Industrialization and finally becoming the PS of the Ministry of Interior.
Under Dr Fred Matiang’i, Kibicho was thrust into the limelight, and on warpath with DP William Ruto.
Ruto and his camp, on several occasions, accused Kibicho of using the police and the provincial administration to settle political scores.
Further, he has also been accused by Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru for paying MCAs to impeach her from being the Governor over allegations of corruption.
Kibicho distanced himself from the allegations, stating that his detractors are using his name for campaign had sensed defeat.
With President Kenyatta set to retire when he hands over power on Tuesday, September 13, the future of the PS remains uncertain.
He is part of the Assumption of Office Committee that is chaired by the outgoing head of Public Service Dr Joseph Kinyua.
A collage image of Interior PS Karanja Kibicho (LEFT) and Deputy President William Ruto at a past rally (RIGHT).
File alcohol corruption drunk