Former Head of Public Service Jeremiah Kiereini dies


The late Jeremiah Kiereini during the launch of his Autobiography---A Daunting Journey.
The late Jeremiah Kiereini during the launch of his Autobiography---A Daunting Journey.

Former Head of Public Service Jeremiah Gitau Kiereini is dead.

A statement from President Uhuru  Kenyatta said Kiereini, 90, died on Monday evening in Nairobi.

“The late Kiereini remains an important part of Kenya’s public service history due to his many achievements key among them being the role he played in the modernisation of the Kenyan military when he served as Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Defence,” the President said in a statement.

The Head of State further described the late Kiereini as a ‘towering reform minded public servant and patriotic Kenyan who served his country with distinction.’

Former President Daniel arap Moi also sent a message of condolence noting that Kiereini’s death had deeply saddened him.

“Kiereini was as a key cornerstone among the building blocks of service delivery to the people of Kenya….I share the pain with members of his family, friends, relatives and the people of Kenya at large,” he said in a statement.

Kiereini was born in 1929 in Kibicho, Central Kenya. He went to Alliance Boys’ and later pursued a degree at Uganda’s Makerere University.

He began his career as a Community Development Assistant and later as a District Officer in the then colonial government.

He was employed at the Public Civil Service for close to four decades.

When Kenya gained independence in 1963, Kiereini continued to work as a public servant and rose to the position of Permanent Secretary in the Defence Ministry.

He served as PS in the regime of Kenya’s first President Jomo Kenyatta until 1978 when Daniel Arap Moi took over and appointed him Head of Civil Service.

Though he retired in July 1984, his business ventures made his name synonymous in the Kenyan corporate world.

He rose to the helm of top companies such as CMC Holdings, Unga Limited, CFC Stanbic and most memorably as Chairman of the East Africa Breweries Limited.

His 24-year stint at EABL saw the company’s products tagged ‘Kiereini waters’.

In October 2014, Kiereini launched his Autobiography titled A Daunting Journey.

He leaves behind his wife Dr. Eunice Muringo Kiereini–President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta’s first nurse and Kenya’s longest serving Chief Nursing Officer.

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