Eggs billionaire: How State House created a multi-million empire

The late Nelson Muguku built Kenya's largest poultry farms, the Muguku Poultry Farm [Photo: Courtesy]

A story is told of how the nabobs at State House, actually the Comptroller Eliud Mathu, changed eggs supplier because he was getting into the poultry business.

Good old Jomo noticed the new eggs were smaller and had Mrs Mwathi, the housekeeper, explain why the size of the 'presidential eggs' had shrunk. The explanation was that the previous supplier had no government tender, but UK's old man would have none of it.

That was how Kenyatta's love for Nelson Muguku's eggs gradually laid a billionaire, since there was no better customer to supply eggs to than the tenant of the house on the hill, who ordered for two dozens weekly!

Nelson Muguku had been supplying Governor Malcom MacDonald before Jomo became President and he naturally continued doing so after Kenya attained independence in 1963. This is the year his wife Leah quit teaching to concentrate on creating what later became one of Kenya's largest poultry farms, the Muguku Poultry Farm, that started with two hens and a cock in 1956 at Kabianga Government School in Kericho.

It was MacDonald who gave him the nod to supply State House after visiting his farm, then at a settlement scheme in Sigona. The governor considered the eggs better than those in England.

Today, over 500,000 chicks are hatched daily at the farm, and if you have an account with Equity Bank, you are one of the people making the family of Muguku (known for his philanthropy, not drinking more than three beers daily and never offering to buy anyone a drink) even richer.

Muguku had a Sh3-billion stake at Equity that made him the largest individual shareholder by the time of his death at 78 due to diabetes in 2010.

Back to Oxford-educated Eliud Mathu. One time, Kenyatta was on a 'working holiday' in Mombasa, when Mathu disappeared, only to be found in Ganjoni two days later, high like a kite.

Mathu told the search party that he was done with State House, and not because of Muguku's eggs. He later sobered up and resumed his duties, as Duncan Ndegwa informs us in his 2009 bio, Walking in Kenyatta Struggles: My Story.

 

The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Sde.co.ke


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