Veteran Nyeri politician, prominent businessman and farmer Matu Wamae dies aged 89

Prominent businessman and politician Matu Wamae died this morning in Nairobi aged 89 years leaving behind a rich legacy.

Wamae who was elected as Mathira MP for three consecutive terms between 1983 and 2002 is best remembered for revamping Kenya’s dairy industry when he was appointed Kenya Cooperative Creameries (KCC) where he served for 20 years as chairman.

A man with deep pockets and owner of Ngong Hills Hotels on Ngong Road Nairobi, was a close friend of the late President Mwai Kibaki and was considered as the power behind Kibaki’s Democratic Party (DP) as a key financier.

However, in 2002 as President Kibaki rode to power through National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) which was the umbrella party of among other the Democratic Party, Wamae was upset that Kibaki had failed to protect him from a young politician the late Nderitu Gachagua.

Gachagua a brother to the current Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua had taken advantage of Wamae’s absence in Mathira constituency (as he joined Kibaki in the presidential campaign) to create a wave for himself.

By the time Wamae realized what was going on, the ground had already shifted and there was near confrontation in Karatina town when Kibaki campaigned in the town Wamae and Gachagua in tow – Kibaki did not endorse Wamae and left him to fight it out.

Gachagua went on to win the seat and Kibaki became the third President and later appointed Wamae the chairman of KCC. Gachagua served for one term and was replaced by Eng Ephraim Maina.

Later one Gachagua would contest the Nyeri gubernatorial seat and win before dying in office while Maina would contest the Senatorial seat and also win.

With the new players in Mathira and Nyeri politics, Wamae concentrated on the revival of the dairy industry that thrived under Kibaki and his vast business empire until his death this morning.

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