President Uhuru Kenyatta’s bespectacled younger brother is a master at effacing himself. To his closest friends, Muhoho Kenyatta is simply MK. To the employees of the many companies in the Kenyatta business empire, he is simply known as Chairman.
He is known to be the engine behind the Kenyatta Empire and interests, extremely low-key and protective of his immediate family.
The sturdy third born of Mama Ngina and the founding father is the only brother to President Uhuru Kenyatta and a man feared and revered by both friends and foes for his forthright manner. So lethal is he that when blogger Robert Alai posted a picture of his family in hospital, he got him bundled in a boot like a common thief and into a police cell.
After graduating from Williams College in Massachusetts USA, he returned to Kenya to join elder brother Uhuru in building an empire from the raw material in terms of Land and cash holdings left behind by his father and more accumulated by his mother.
Instances are told when he literally walked past a battery of journalists, into the boardroom of Mediamax on Kijabe Street without many journalists recognizing or feeling his presence. They only learnt later that the man who had passed right under their noses was indeed President Uhuru Kenyatta’s kid brother.
A journalist who has interacted with MK whom he describes as the engine driving the vast Kenyatta business empire, recalls how the man waltzed into Bomas of Kenya on August 9 last year right under the noses of journalists, spent hours in the hall, without cameras clicking away
As Kenya teetered on the brink and politicians squabbled over the presidential polls, the photo journalists deployed at the polls nerve centre had no idea that Muhoho was in the house.
“He arrived at midnight and found NASA (opposition leaders) had already set up camp with computers and laptops. He was accompanied by Jomo Gecaga,” the journalist recalls.
Muhoho appeared concerned that the NASA team had been allowed into the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission portal from where they were verifying results. He consulted the Jubilee IT team and confronted some IEBC officials. Only after he was satisfied that NASA was not being given undue advantage did he settle down, chatting with some of the Jubilee politicians as the presidential election results trickled in.
He left at the break of dawn.
One of the few other occasions when Muhoho has come out in what may be construed as a political forum was when his older brother was fighting for his freedom in 2013 after he was charged at the International Criminal Court. At that time, the family matriarch, Mama Ngina Kenyatta would mobilize family members to pray for Uhuru and Muhoho would join them. Even though he might be seen as a recluse, those who know him say he is in charge of the family business and chairs the boards of all companies in the vast Kenyatta conglomerate that has interests in the dairy, banking, insurance and hospitality industries.
He is also said to have a soft spot for wazungu and Indians over Africans.
A story is told of an older Mzungu employed as the herd manager for the Kenyattas substantial cattle herd in the expansive Gicheha Farms, a herd that became the foundation for Brookside Dairy. This gentleman, eccentric, would drive around in a well-kept, old green jeep Jalopy whose most interesting feature was a manual fan on the dashboard, which he would turn on during the super-hot days.
On One occasion, against common sense and the advice of a Kenyan veterinary officer, this gentleman either neglected or forgot to follow a prescription for the herd and in the end, a large number of the cows died. Under ordinary circumstances, this was ground for sacking, however, Mo admonished him and he continued with his duties.
His co-workers believed that it been them in his place, Mo would have ejected them from the premises!