Charity Kaluki Ngilu

Charity Kaluki Ngilu

Charity Kaluki Ngilu (born 1952) is a Kenyan politician. She was Minister of Health from 2003 until 2007 and was appointed as Minister of Water and Irrigation in April 2008.

Ngilu was born in Mbooni , Makueni District in 1952. She was educated at Alliance Girls High School , [1] then worked as a secretary for Central Bank of Kenya , before becoming an entrepreneur. She acted as a director of a plastics extrusion factory.

Political life

In Kenya's first ever multiparty elections held in 1992, Charity Ngilu pulled off a big surprise by capturing the Kitui central constituency seat on the Democratic Party ticket.

In the December 1997 general election , she ran for the presidency and along with Wangari Maathai became the first ever female presidential candidates in Kenya. Ngilu then represented the Social Democratic Party of Kenya. She finished fifth.

Later, she joined National Party of Kenya . In the December 2002 general election , her party was part of the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC). The coalition went on to win the elections, and President Mwai Kibaki appointed her as Minister of Health when he named his Cabinet on January 3, 2003. Ngilu was seen as a new school member in the government, as opposed to old school members like John Michuki and President Kibaki.

She was also appointed NARC chairperson. However, she was left stranded after the Liberal Democratic Party left the coalition after the defeat of the Government-sponsored draft constitution , while most of the remaining NARC members founded the new Narc-Kenya party, though NARC is still officially the ruling party. She has been viewed as a flip flopper who could not decide whether she was in the government between 2003 and 2007 or against the government.

On July 31, 2007, Ngilu took Ann Njogu, a protester, to a hospital after Njogu had allegedly been beaten by police. Ngilu was then accused of helping Njogu escape the police, and she was arrested on August 2 before being released on bail. She reported to the headquarters of the Criminal Investigations Department on August 3 as she was ordered, but would not leave her car, saying that she should either be charged or released. Later on the same day the Nairobi High Court ruled that Ngilu's arrest was illegal, and she was allowed to leave. According to Ngilu's lawyer, she was not aiding an escape and Njogu was returned to the police by the hospital a day after she was taken there.

On October 5, 2007, Ngilu announced her support for the Orange Democratic Movement and its presidential candidate, Raila Odinga , in the December 2007 general election ; she has compared Odinga to Nelson Mandela . She initially said that she was remaining in the government, despite backing Kibaki's main rival. However, her dismissal from the government by Kibaki was announced on October 6.

Ngilu was re-elected to her seat from Kitui Central in the December 2007 parliamentary election . Kibaki won the presidential election according to official results, but this was disputed by the ODM, and a violent crisis developed. The crisis was eventually resolved with a power-sharing agreement, and in the grand coalition Cabinet named on April 13, 2008 and sworn in on April 17, Ngilu was appointed as Minister of Water and Irrigation.

Party: ODM

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