Editor's Review

CS Macharia might have had big dreams for his life but it was nothing close to joining the government.

By the time he was being appointed to a government position as a Cabinet Secretary in 2013, James Macharia was already at the peak of his career.

Flying high in the heart of Kenya's banking sector as the managing director of NIC Bank and earning millions as salaries in his mid 50's, CS Macharia might have had big dreams for his life but it was nothing close to joining the government.

He had never been part of politics. President Uhuru himself was not even a close friend. To him, it was impossible that he would be CS.

{President Uhuru Kenyatta listening to Transport CS James Macharia. Image: Courtesy}

But as fate would have it, what began as a typical day of him running usual errands at his office and meeting clients turned out to be a life-changing moment of his life that he remembers as if it happened yesterday.

On the fateful day, he narrated to Citizen TV, he was having a meal with his clients at a hotel when he saw a phone call and when he picked, the President was on the other end.

"Nine years appears like so many years but I remember that day so well. I had taken my clients to a hotel for lunch and the phone rang.

"I picked it and I heard the President's voice on the end and he asked me 'where are you?' and I told him the hotel where I was in.

"He told me 'you are near State House, can you come over just now?' I left my clients at the hotel and proceeded to State House where I stayed there until the President announced his cabinet," he narrated.

{CS James Macharia inspecting development project. Image: Courtesy}

Macharia says he was not aware why the President had called him there, leave alone his family being privy to the developments.

He says he found interior CS Fred Matiangi, their sports counterpart Amina Mohamed and former Treasury CS Henry Rotich seated at State House.

They, however, did not interact as he only knew CS Amina but the rest were total strangers to him.

It is there that he was informed that he was set to be appointed a Cabinet Secretary for Health, an offer that he quickly accepted because it was a huge privilege.

"My wife only knew of the appointment on TV. I had not informed her because I did not know of it earlier.

"It was surprising to my family because they did not know about it. They even thought I had kept them unaware intentionally.

"But we were happy because it was a blessing to get such an opportunity. It comes once in a lifetime and I am happy that I have served for the last 9-years," he said.

On his relationship with President Uhuru, CS Macharia notes that President Uhuru was not his close ally but they had interacted businesswise.

According to CS Machaira, joining the cabinet was not about money.

If anything, he says, whatever he pockets monthly as a CS in salary is a paltry 20 percent of what he earned as an MD with NIC Bank.

Macharia first served as CS for Health from 2013 to 2015 after which he was moved to the Transport and Infrastructure Ministry where he has served to date.

And as they say, the rest is history, CS Macharia has grown in leaps and bounds to become President Uhuru's most trusted CS who has accompanied him to foreign trips that have seen mega transport infrastructure deals signed.