Njoroge Mungai Edit Profile
He went to the Presbyterian church elementary school and to the renowned Alliance High School, Kikuyu. Before going to university he worked for a spell as a bus driver, getting down from the front seat for the last time in February 1948 to take the train for Fort Hare University in South Africa, where he took a BSc in 1950. He continued medical training at Stanford Universityi California, getting his MD in 1957. He became an intern at King’s County Hospital, New York in 1958 before going to Columbia University for postgraduate studies until 1959.
On his return to Kenya, he built a clinic at Dagoretti, a 50-bed maternity hospital at Thika and set up further clinics at Riruta and F.mbu. Politically he emerged earlier than is often thought as secretary of the preparatory com¬mittee which convened the First Kenya African National Union conference in May 1960. He became a member of KANU National Executive and Chairman of the Thika branch, being returned in 1963 for Nairobi West. He was considered a natural choice as Minister of Health in the independence cabinet. His abilities were recognised by President Kenyatta, who promoted him Minister for Internal Security and Defence in 1964 at a time when there were real security worries and numerous scares concerning arms and foreign Finance. During his term of office a convoy of arms for Uganda was seized and another consignment of arms from Russia was rejected after personal examination by Mungai.
Early in 1971 it was announced in the Press that Kenyatta had endorsed a KANU plan to create a Prime Minister, who would take over many of the President’s functions as head of the cabinet. According to reports Mungai was the man who would be offered the new Pfcmiership, but nothing further was heard of the plan.
The security position improved after the collapse of the opposition Kenya People’s Union and the detention of some of its leaders. The elections of 1969 did a great deal to reunite the country. Mungai retained his seat and was moved on to the Foreign Ministry. Under his initiative, Kenya began to talk with a more decisive voice on Pan African issues. At the OAU meeting at Addis Ababa in September 1969, Mungai proposed the key resolution condemning the Western powers for selling arms to South Africa. He became a key figure in President Kaunda's delegation which toured Europe trying to persuade the big Powers to stop armless to South Africa. He maintained cordial relations with Britain while taking a tough line on Rhodesia.