Former Nyeri Town MP Esther Murugi says her net worth is Ksh320 million.
Murugi, who was on August 20 nominated to the National Land Commission (NLC) by President Uhuru Kenyatta, made that revelation on Thursday, September 19, when she was vetted by the National Assembly’s departmental committee on lands.
The lawmakers in the vetting team inquired the net worth of the ex-legislator.
“My net worth is Ksh320 million,” said Murugi, who was seemingly angered by a subsequent question on her age.
“The MPs questioning me about my age, [I would like to tell you that] I am not joining the National Land Commission to play football,” said Murugi.
“If anything, I can run faster than many 35-year-old MPs in this committee,” added the ex-legislator.
According to online records, Murugi was born on September 21, 1953. She turns 66 on that day, which is two days from today [Thursday, September 19].
Naivasha MP Jayne Kihara spared Murugi the blushes by asking the departmental committee on lands members to gauge whether she can deliver in the lands agency, and not if she is physically fit.
“Let us not look at her hair, and, consequently, throw around the age question,” said Kihara.
Kisauni MP Ali Mbogo, however, said he wasn’t going to let the age debate slip, given the Jubilee administration promised to create jobs that would be taken up by the youth, yet, day in-day out, “it is the elderly people” who end up being appointed to vacant positions in government.
“I am representing the youth in this vetting exercise… We shouldn’t fool the youth that we are creating employment opportunities for them, yet it is the elderly people who end up being recycled in government,” said Mbogo.
Ganze MP Teddy Mwambire, however, said Murugi’s age wasn’t an issue he has a gripe with. The lawmaker, instead, said his only concern was how the former gender affairs minister amassed a net worth of Ksh320 million.
Murugi, was, however, protected from responding to Mwambire’s question by the committee’s chairperson, who said, given she was a lawmaker for 10 years, chances are high she invested her income in money-generating projects.
Esther Murugi lost the Nyeri Town MP seat in the August 8, 2017 general election to Wambugu Ngunjiri.
Murugi was first elected Nyeri Town representative to the National Assembly in 2007 polls under a PNU ticket. She defended the seat on a TNA ticket in the March 4, 2013 general election.
During her tenure as an MP, Murugi served as a cabinet minister for special programmes between 2010 and 2013.
She had also served as a cabinet minister for gender and children’s affairs shortly after she was elected as an MP in 2007.
On August 20, President Kenyatta listed Murugi in a 9-member team, which will replace commissioners at the lands board, NLC.
Lawyer Gershom Otachi was nominated as the NLC chairperson, replacing Mohammed Swazuri whose term ended on February 19, 2019 after six years at the helm of the lands agency.
Others nominated as NLC commissioners are: Esther Murugi, James Tuitoek, Getrude Nguku, Reginald Okumu, Hubbie Hussein, Alister Mutugi and Tiya Galgalo.