Peter Munya: A true ‘from grass to grace’ story
Tough and intelligent is how residents from a small village at Ntamicu, Kitharene sub-location in Muthara of Tigania East sub-county describe the Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Gatirau Munya who was born in a humble and financially struggling background.
Born in 1969 in a family of six siblings to the late Mzee Jackson Munya M’Rukunga and late Grace Mwakithi, Munya went to Nchui Primary School and later joined Chogoria Boys and Meru school for his 'A 'levels.
He is remembered for his extraordinary performances at all his academic levels despite the financial and social constraints he went through as a child.
He could do well and he would still top his classes despite him being out of school in search of fees most of the time.
Family sources at the same time added his father who worked at white settlers' farm in Lodanya hills in Nanyuki and his mother who did casual jobs to eke a living did not give up on their child who showed a lot of interest in learning.
"The family was very humble and was struggling financially just like any other family but his parents did not give up," a family member said.
It is said during holidays he could also join his father at the white settlers' farm where he could undertake all sorts of casual jobs to help his father raise school fees for him and his siblings.
Munya excelled in his High School exams and joined the University of Nairobi where he studied law
After graduating from the University of Nairobi where he was also elected twice as chairman of the Kenya Law Students Society (KLSS), he secured an academic scholarship to study law at the University of Brussels, Belgium.
He then went on to study for his second master’s degree in Public and International Law at the University of Georgia.
After returning to the country, he secured a job at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies and the Kenya School of Professional Studies as a law lecturer.
He taught for two years, after which he started his law firm; Kimaiyo and Munya Advocates. It is here that he accumulated a lot of experience in the legal field by handling many high-profile cases.
He started his political career in 2002 when he contested for Tigania East parliamentary seat and won.
Munya who was active and vocal in the 9th Parliament founded and chaired the Kenya Young Parliamentarians Association to champion youth issues in Parliament
In 2006, he was appointed Assistant Minister for Internal Security and Provincial Administration before being re-elected in 2007 for a second term as the MP and also served as the Assistant Minister, East African Community in the coalition government.
He has also served in the Jubilee administration as the Minister of Trade and Industrialization in 2020 as well as a Minister of East African Community and Northern Corridor Development in 2018.
Munya who is viewed as the Ameru kingpin was elected as the first governor of Meru County in 2013 and the second chairman of the council of governors (COG) before losing to his closest allies cum political rival Kiraitu Murungi who vigorously campaigned for him on APK ticket to win against his then closet competitor Kilemi Mwiria.
He contested to retain his seat as Meru Governor in the 2017 general elections, but he lost to Kiraitu after which he was appointed as Cabinet Secretary for East African Community and Northern Corridor Development and later was transferred to the Trade docket before moving to Agriculture.
The former governor is currently fronting the Azimio la Umoja agenda and campaigning for Raila Odinga's presidential election in Meru and Mt. Kenya region.
He is one of the leaders who are being fronted to be picked as Raila Odinga's running mate ahead of August polls. He was shortlisted and interviewed by Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya coalition's running mate selection panel.