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Nicholas Biwott Biography, Career, Family, Wife and Children

Nicholas Biwott Biography

This are the wives of former minister Nicholas Biwott

Updated: 20.07.2017

Three wives of former powerful Cabinet Minister Nicholas Biwott were on Wednesday introduced to the hundreds who turned up to view his body at Biwott Day Secondary School in Keiyo South ahead of his burial on Thursday.

In an apparent move to clear the mystery around the extent of Biwott’s family, the three – Hannie Kiprono, Prof Margaret Kamar and Kalista Lessie – stood in front of the large crowd and held each other’s hands and expressed their sadness at losing a man they said had taken good care of them.

When the event’s master of ceremonies Albert Kochei, who is the County Assembly Speaker for Elgeyo Marakwet, asked Biwott’s first wife Hannie to address the crowd, the other two accompanied her to the stage.

Hannie spoke first in English and Prof Kamar translated into the local dialect.

WAS INSTRUMENTAL

Hannie said that she was instrumental in urging her husband to set up Mary Soti Secondary School in Keiyo South which was established in honour of Biwott’s late mother.

“Biwott never criticised his enemies. Despite his massive wealth he still mingled with the common man. He was committed to improving the economic livelihood of the Keiyo people,” said Hannie.

She recounted how she was surprised some time in the 1990s when Biwott was accused of murder and perpetrating corruption.

“I told him to buy space in a newspaper and defend himself but he declined, saying that it was above his dignity to fight back,” said Hannie.

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NEGATIVE PUBLICITY

She regretted negative publicity from the media about him, saying he was a nice person.

Hannie said that while at the university with Biwott in Australia, she came to know him as a man of high principles.

She said that Biwott was a close friend of retired President Daniel Moi. “When people were abandoning Kanu, Biwott vowed to be by Moi’s side,” she said.

“Moi was my love rival because my husband loved him more and was always close to Moi,” said Hannie amid laughter from the mourners who included the Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich among other local leaders.

 

Prof Kamar, about whom speculation has persisted that she was Biwott’s wife, cleared the air when she introduced family members including her daughter Soti Maria, named after Biwott’s mother.

“I think we have to put this issue to rest once and for all. Now you have known nothing but the whole truth,” said Prof Kamar, who is Jubilee Party’s senatorial candidate for Uasin Gishu.

Lessie only introduced herself.

Nicholas Biwott Children

Nicholas Biwott had seven children – six daughters and a son – who were all introduced on Wednesday. There was confusion on Tuesday during a requiem mass at AIC Milimani in Nairobi after Prof Kamar was not introduced as Biwott’s spouse. She was seated behind Hannie.

On Wednesday, Prof Kamar thanked her co-wife Hannie for “taking care of Mzee (Biwott) at his younger age”.

“Thanks a lot mama. You are the cornerstone of this family,” said the former Higher Education minister who lives on one of Biwott’s expansive farms in Chepkanga on the outskirts of Eldoret town.

Rotich said President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto would attend the former minister’s burial.

Source: Daily Nation

Front, from left: Former Cabinet Minister Nicholas Biwott’s widows Margaret Kamar, Hannie Biwott and Kalista Lessie

Glimpse of reclusive family of Nicholas Biwott

Updated: 19.07.2017

The mystery that characterised the life of former powerful Nyayo-era Cabinet minister Nicholas Biwott was unravelled on Tuesday after his family was revealed to Kenyans at his funeral service in Nairobi.

His family of seven children – six daughters and a son – and 11 grandchildren was laid bare but it had to take his death.

His widow, children and grandchildren spoke fondly of a man who was a mystery in life but, even in death, the finer details of the family remained a secret.

Mr Biwott was MP for Keiyo South for 28 years and Cabinet minister for 25 but had thrown an iron cordon around his family.

Nicholas Biwott Wife

And even though his wife has been seen in public, especially when as minister they attended national holiday functions, this was the first time his children came to the Kenyan public limelight.

The requiem gave Kenyans a glimpse into the reclusive family and also the fact that Mr Biwott played a critical role in the formation of the East African Community in the 1990s.

He has been linked to all manner of corruption scandals and even assassinations as the epitome of the evil and ruthlessness that assailed the Daniel arap Moi regime in the 24-year one-party Kanu rule.

But as his final journey began, a new side of the man variously known as Total Man, Kernet (steel) and Maendeleo emerged.

Nicholas Biwott – Strong Family Man

At Africa Inland Church (AIC), Milimani, Mr Biwott was eulogised as a strong family man who was loyal to his friends and leaves behind a legacy of philanthropy.

Said Ms Hannie Biwott: “He never prided himself on his good deeds, sought to elevate himself through connections, tried to curry favour through flattery or throwing names. Till the end, he remained a humble man, never seeking recognition for his generosity.”

Ms Esther Koimett – Nicholas Biwott Daughter

His eldest daughter, Ms Esther Koimett described him as a fascinating man with great wisdom and the ability to be strong and cool-headed in the face of adversity.

Nicholas Biwott’s grandchildren

Nicholas Biwott’s grandchildren

“I learnt so much from you—the way you simplified complex issues and found solutions where none seemed to exist, the way you stayed above negativity and pettiness,” said the long-serving Investments Secretary at The National Treasury.

Mr Biwott’s son Emmanuel said his father was a practical person who never understood why people rely on the computer.

He said: “He always tagged me along whenever he wanted me to learn something that he was doing.”

But even though the family tried hard to fill the gaps and provide an image of harmony, the little details that suggested otherwise belied all these efforts that exposed an ordinary family facing the challenges of unity.

The programme portrayed Ms Hannie as Mr Biwott’s only wife but the perceptions that other wives exist enveloped the church.

Nicholas Biwott Wife – Margaret Kamar

Professor Margaret Kamar, the former Eldoret East MP and Higher Education minister under the Grand Coalition government, was present throughout the service but there was no mention of her – even though some accounts have suggested that she is also Mr Biwott’s spouse.

When Biwott’s cousin only identified as Chirchir asked members of the Biwott family to step forward for introduction, Ms Kamar, who is the Jubilee Party’s Senate candidate for Uasin Gishu County, did not rise.

Neither was she given an opportunity to address mourners.

Prof Kamar entered the church shortly before the service started and quietly took a seat among the family members, just behind Ms Hannie and her children.

However, she neither exchanged pleasantries with nor talked to them throughout the three-hour event.

Ms Hannie described retired President Moi as a teacher Mr Biwott met in primary school.

Nicholas Biwott's children

Nicholas Biwott’s children

“Mr Moi, who had a high work ethic, was to become my husband’s role model and my rival for Mr Biwott’s love,” said Ms Hannie, suggesting that she was an only wife.

“I am privileged to have been his wife for 52 years and the mother, grandmother and great grandmother of his family. It was a privilege being this man’s wife.”

Nicholas Biwott Wives

Proof of Mr Biwott’s polygamous life would however be laid bare when retired Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete revealed that when he received the news of Mr Biwott’s death he called three of the former minister’s widows to send his condolences.

Mr Kikwete, who first met Mr Biwott when both were Energy ministers in the 1980s, lauded him for his critical role in drafting and negotiating the EAC Treaty.

They would meet again in the 1990s when Mr Kikwete was Foreign minister and Mr Biwott in charge of the EAC docket.

Nicholas Biwott – Francis Muthaura

Former Head of Public Service Francis Muthaura said Mr Biwott planted the public service seed in him in high school in the 1960s.

“He came to talk to us on careers and he left a lasting impression in me,” said Dr Muthaura, who is the Lappset chairman. “I was impressed by his analytical skills and his approach to doing things.”

Ms Hannie Biwott taught Muthaura history in Forms 3 and 4, the diplomat recalled.

Source: Daily Nation

Nicholas Biwott: Prisoner of his billions

Updated: 14.07.2017

The late Nicholas Biwott, one-time powerful sidekick of retired President Daniel arap Moi, was so obsessively secretive that even Mzee Moi once wondered aloud whether anyone had ever been invited to Biwott’s home.

No one in government seemed to know where Biwott lived in Nairobi, or his several homes in Elgeyo Marakwet, Uasin Gishu County.

Even the security detail had no clue where he would spend the night. His offices operated without a formal itinerary.

For more than 50 years, Biwott led a lonely life, dodging friends and relatives, glancing over his shoulders for real or imaginary enemies, and avoiding food served in public.

The former Minister for Energy and MP for Keiyo South also denied himself the creature comforts worthy of his billions by hiking lifts in jalopies you wouldn’t even wish on your enemies.

Though a slave to his wealth and murky past, the man who controlled the recruitment and rotation of presidential guards, could not run away from the vagaries of old age and cancer, which had pared his once beefy face to hollow cheeks, giving the queer impression of one whistling an anthem non-stop.

Biwott had been seeking routine treatment in Singapore rather than Europe or America. He was among scores of influential Kenyans banned from travelling to the USA and the UK over corruption.

He never owned a cellphone, meaning he could not okolea mtu through M-Pesa, neither was he on Facebook, Twitter or other social media platforms. His online presence was limited to a bare personal website with generic information.

His paranoia was such that he directed his drivers to circle huge roundabouts more than three times, besides hiring whole hotel room floors in the rare occasion that he booked into a hotel.

It was ironical for a man in public limelight to lead such a secretive life. Biwott was also dogged by controversies, including implications in the 1990 murder of Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Robert Ouko — whose murder was later to earn Biwott Sh67 million, awarded in damages arising from libel lawsuits against those who linked him to the murder of the then Kisumu Rural MP.

Born in 1940 to Cheserem Soti and Maria Soti of Chebior village in Keiyo, little is known about his wives, children or siblings, apart from when they inadvertently get into the public domain.

Nicholas Biwott Family

Nicholas Biwott Wife –  Nicholas Biwott Three wives

Biwott had three wives; Australia-born Hannie Biwott; Professor Margaret Kamar, a Kenyan; and Kavista Lessie, a Tanzanian.

Nicholas Biwott Children

He had six children with the three women. His previous relationship with a woman he did not marry bore Esther Koimett, his eldest child. That was before he flew to Australia for further studies.

Nicholas Biwott Cildren – Esther Koimett

Esther, the Director General of Public Investment and Portfolio Management at the National Treasury, was the only child who spoke to the Press at Lee Funeral Home in Nairobi after her father died.

Of the civil servants whom President Uhuru Kenyatta showed the door in June 2015, Koimett, then Investment Secretary, was the only one to make a return to public service.

Laura, Gloria and Emmanuel Biwott are Lessie’s brood, while Prof Kamar begot one child, Maria Soti — named after Biwott’s late mother after whom the Maria Soti School in Kapsabet is also named.

“When he (Biwott) returned from his studies in Australia, the woman who begot him a daughter had married a different man. He also returned with a white woman,” said a family source.

Lessie is the General Manger of Lima Ltd, while Prof Kamar and Hannie are large-scale farmers in Uasin Gishu County, where Prof Kamar is gunning for the Senate seat.

Nicholas Biwott Wife – Prof Margaret Kamar

“Biwott paid the requisite dowry according to the Kalenjin customs to Prof Kamar’s family and according to us, she is legally married to him, contrary to reports that the two were not married,” added the source.

It is only during voting day that a majority of Biwott’s family are seen together in public. The ‘Total Man’ will on rare occasions be seen with his wives and if they happen to attend one function together, they would use different vehicles. What startled many was the fact that Biwott avoided introducing any of his wives in public.

“There was one instance when he deliberately asked Prof Kamar to introduce herself after introducing other dignitaries, but she never introduced herself as Biwott’s wife,” revealed another source.

In the run-up to the Jubilee nominations, Prof Kamar branded some of the vehicles occasionally used by Biwott in Jubilee colours as she campaigned across the vast county.

Biwott who is the National Vision Party (NVP) leader was never seen campaigning for Prof Kamar for Uasin Gishu gubernatorial race in 2013, but is believed to have been the think tank behind the scenes.

“What is interesting is the fact that no one knew where Biwott spent his nights. It is a mystery because even the closest friends have not set foot in any of his many homes,” said a source.

Another source intimated to The Nairobian that in one of the social functions attended by two of Biwott’s wives, he never allowed any of them to carry his drinking water.

“I was shocked to see Biwott drink water and pass it to his long-time personal assistant, William Chepkut, who was seated away from him, instead of handing the water to either of his wives who sandwiched him,” disclosed the source.

Nicholas Biwott Daughter – Rita Field Marsham

Family connections can be very powerful when you consider the case of Rita Biwott and her husband, Charles Field-Marsham, whom she met at McGill University.

Rita sued the Kenya School of Law and the Council for Legal Education for refusing to admit her for a diploma course in 1994. She won the case.

In 1995, Field-Marsham went on to found Kestrel Capital. He was 25 at the time. Two years ago, Kestrel Capital topped all stock brokerage firms as the largest equities broker at the Nairobi Securities Exchange by trading in stock worth Sh47 billion in nine months.

Field-Marsham, now based in Kenya and Canada, also owns the Kenya Flourspar Company and its 9,000-acre mine in Kerio Valley.

The Sh4.5 billion enterprise produces fluorite, the mineral key to refrigeration. In 1996, the company was privatised under the terms of a governmental reform policy and Field-Marsham acquired what he described to the Globe and Mail in 2012 as a “loss-making, State-owned mess” with the help of his father-in-law.

Field-Marsham admitted that the Biwott name “opened doors for me, undoubtedly, but it later became a hindrance when President Moi left office in 2002, leaving his cronies out in the cold.”

The fall of Kanu from power saw Field-Marsham transferring his corporate headquarters from Nairobi to Toronto.

Source: The Nairobian

Nicholas Biwott used State House links to create business empire

Updated: 13.07.2017

There were powerful men in the Nyayo regime; and then there was Nicholas Biwott.

Mr Biwott, who died on Tuesday aged 77, was part of a political and commercial network that in the 1980s and 90s bestrode the national political landscape like a colossus, creating fear and peddling influence.

By using his State House and international connections, Mr Biwott transformed himself from a simple MP for Keiyo South to a billionaire with an enviable business empire touching almost every sector of the Kenyan economy.

He owned an airline, a bank, an oil company, a construction firm and Nairobi’s Yaya Towers, among others.

Nicholas Biwott – Total Man

In his hey day Mr Biwott, who once described himself as a ‘Total Man’, faced a myriad of corruption allegations but he still gained a reputation for generosity — contributing hundreds of thousands of shillings every week in harambees.

The diminutive politician once worked as a personal assistant to Jewish Mossad spy in Kenya Bruce Mckenzie, the only white Cabinet minister in Jomo Kenyatta’s government until 1969, when he resigned.

Regarded as an intelligent man, Mr Biwott started his career as a junior information officer in Eldoret under Mr Kendagor Bett, the Alliance High School alumnus whose newsletter Kalenjin would help rally the community behind the Kenya African Democratic Union (Kadu), whose Rift Valley kingpin was Daniel arap Moi. It was during this period that Mr Moi met Mr Biwott.

Nicholas Biwott – Philanthropist

On Tuesday, Mr Moi described him as an “astute businessman … a philanthropist … and a dependable friend” — tracing their friendship to the 1950s.

But unknown to many, Mr Biwott was a student at Tambach Intermediate School when Mr Moi was its principal.

After Tambach, he joined Kapsabet Government African School, leaving in 1958.

But while Mr Moi has a high opinion of Mr Biwott — his former Minister for Energy — the US government didn’t think much of him and in some of the Wikileaks cables, former US ambassador Michael Ranneberger revealed Mr Biwott had been banned from travelling to the US due to allegations of corruption and a link to the still-unresolved murder of Foreign minister Robert Ouko.

Nicholas Biwott – Scholarship

The rise of Nicholas Biwott and how he ended up in Australia on a government scholarship is credited to the intervention of Mr Kenneth Matiba, the Makerere University graduate who was in charge of scholarships at the Ministry of Education.

As Mr Matiba recounted later, Mr Moi approached him and said he had a “bright, young man”, who turned out to be Biwott.

Mr Matiba says in his book Aiming High that he gave Mr Biwott a scholarship.

In 1993, Mr Biwott told Parliament that Mr Matiba was lying.

“When Mr Matiba was touring Banana, he said he gave me a scholarship.

Nicholas Biwott – Masters Degree

He himself was only a student looking for a part-time job at the Ministry of Education. He said that Moi introduced me to him, something he never did …”

Mr Biwott studied for a Bachelors degree at the University of Melbourne between 1962 and 1964 and during his second sojourn to Australia in 1966, he returned home with a Masters degree in economics and a wife, Hannie — a Dutch of Jewish origin.

It was after his return that Mr Biwott immersed himself into the Jewish circles in Nairobi, earning the confidence of Mr Mackenzie, the politician whose commercial interests in Kenya included shareholding in pivotal companies such as Cooper Motors Corporation (CMC), Wilken Air, and Wilken Telecommunications, which had won the tender to build Kenya’s first satellite earth station in Kenya.

Nicholas Biwott – Personal Assistant

Before 1971, Mr Biwott was Mr Mackenzie’s personal assistant and later became Mr Moi’s until 1974 when he tried his luck in politics but was defeated by Mr Stanley Kurgat.

According to Charles Hornsby, the author of Kenya: A History Since Independence, Mr Biwott “had been intimately involved in Moi’s rise”.

More than anything, it was his discreet nature that endeared him to Mr Moi, who appointed him a senior assistant secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture before transferring him to his docket, the Ministry of Home Affairs, on the recommendation of Mr Duncan Ndegwa, the first African governor of the Central Bank.

Moi was then looking for a person he could trust and Biwott fitted the bill.

Nicholas Biwott Wealth

The entry into the big league for Biwott would come in 1979, when Moi persuaded Mr Kurgat to give up the Keiyo South seat for him.

He was then elected unopposed and retained the seat for 28 years. It is within that period that he became a billionaire.

Immediately he entered Parliament, Biwott was appointed Minister of State in the Office of the President alongside GG Kariuki – and the two became the most powerful politicians besides Charles Njonjo.

It was here that his big break came and Parliament was told that he earned kickbacks from the construction of Turkwel Hydro-Power Project and the Kisumu Molasses plant.

Nicholas Biwott – Defend Himself

Every time he was mentioned in bad light, Mr Biwott would rise in Parliament and defend himself.

“Nicholas Biwott is the cleanest man in the Republic,” he once told Parliament after Kikuyu MP Paul Muite asked for investigations into the Turkwel project.

“We will find out when time comes,” Muite replied.

With the help of Jewish and French friends, Mr Biwott set up a huge business empire as he also helped their companies win lucrative tenders in Kenya.

Nicholas Biwott – Oil Importation

He invested in construction, property development, and the oil importation business and was a shareholder in HZ Company, which monopolised road contracts in Kenya. His other company, Lima Ltd, would later on try to seize part of Karura Forest, triggering a bitter war with environmentalist Wangari Maathai. Lima had been given 16 acres of the forest and was selling them at Sh60 million each.

His other companies included Air Kenya, Yaya Centre, and a huge stake at the oil company Kenol-Kobil where he has been divesting.

His son in law, Per Nils Jacobsson, who had been a director in the company since 2007 resigned four years ago.

Adopted from the Daily Nation

Friends, aides describe Nicholas Biwott’s other side

Updated 13.07.2017

Former Cabinet minister Nicholas Biwott was so discreet he never let his personal aide inside his residence.

Accounts of Biwott’s secretive and witty lifestyle continued to emerge even as leaders continued to mourn the late former powerful Cabinet minister.

Biwott’s former aides recalled their boss’s secretive lifestyle, with one who served as his personal assistant for six years saying he had never stepped inside his house.

Politician Micah Kigen said despite being close to Biwott, he was not allowed to get close to his homestead. Instead, Moi’s most powerful minister insisted on picking his assistant at least 2 kilometres away from his residence.

“Biwott had some uniqueness in his operations. Although I knew his home, I could not get close to his house and would only meet him by the road, about two kilometres away where I would be picked as we headed to the office,” said Kigen, who served as his PA between 1988 and 1993.

Biwott’s peculiar behaviour extended to meal times.

“He was cautious and even when we went for a meal, he would and wait after I had picked my meal, then he would ask me to hand it to him and serve myself again,” said Kigen.

But Kigen remains grateful to Biwott for mentoring him.

Their paths crossed one morning in 1981 as Kigen was walking back to school – Lelboinet Secondary in Keiyo South. A car approached and the driver asked him to get in for a lift to the school.

On arriving at the school, the car’s driver asked young Kigen if he knew him, to which he said no.

“He told me he was Biwott and gave me Sh200 pocket money,” recounts the politician.

Kigen is not alone in his assessment of Biwott’s ‘peculiar’ character.

Moses Changwony, who served as an assistant secretary at the Energy ministry during Biwott’s tenure, says his boss then would not tell you where he was heading.

“He would not tell us where we were going. He was just giving directions to drivers,” said Mr Changwony.

NASA leader Musalia Mudavadi, who served as Finance minister in the same Cabinet as Biwott during President Moi’s government recalled how he juggled multiple harambees in a day.

“One time he invited me to a fundraiser in his Keiyo South constituency and I discovered that he had 10 harambees going on on the same day. What he did was to designate a number of guests but later visit all the ten venues in a helicopter,” Mudavadi said.

He went on: “When he lost his temper, he would tell you a few harsh words or sometimes make sarcastic remarks depending on how you related with him at the time.”

Journalist Sammy Wambua had an encounter with the witty Biwott.

Wambua recalled weeks after the 1997 elections, Steve “Magic’ Mwangi, the newly elected Nairobi Mayor, had organised ‘The Kenya We Want Conference’ at Safari Park Hotel. It was a grand affair with ambassadors and donor representatives in attendance.

During a break to the bathroom, he overheard a conversation between Kivutha Kibwana and Biwott in the urinal.

Kibwana was then one of the principals of the National Convention Executive Council, a pressure group that was pushing for a review of the constitution.

“Professor habari yako (Professor how are you?)” the conversation started, to which Kibwana replied “Mzuri sana, Bwana Biwott (I am very well, Mr Biwott)”

Wambua recounted that a very friendly-sounding Biwotttold Kibwana the Government knew he was stubborn but not subversive. He explained why ‘Mzee’ (President Moi) wanted to make him (Kibwana) an ambassador. Biwottasked Kibwana what he wanted.

“Katiba tu (just the constitution),” replied Kibwana as they left the washroom.

Wambua at the time was covering the conference for The Star, a rabidly anti-Kanu biweekly.

The next day, the Biwott-Kibwana cloakroom conversation appeared on the paper and everybody thought it was funny. But around noon, somebody told Wambua to pick up the call at Managing Editor Magayu Magayu’s office. At the office the man gestured excitedly, whispering, “Biwott, Biwott.”

“Sweating in panic, I grabbed the handset and said, ‘Hallo, Sir’,” Wambua recounted.

‘Bure kabisa’

“I recall the Total Man asking me whether I was the ‘character’ who wrote the story,” he went on. When he replied “Yes, Sir,” Biwott asked: “Na hii maneno ulisikia ukiwa wapi (Where did you hear this conversation)?” he asked.

“Nilikuwa kwa choo ile kubwa (I was in the big bathroom),” I told him, whereupon he burst into laughter and said “bure kabisa (very useless!)” and discontinued the call.

And Elgeyo Marakwet County’s director of Communication Vincent Bartoo recounted an episode when former Cabinet minister Henry Kosgey engaged him in a public spat during a meeting in Iten. The former Tinderet MP had criticised Biwott for his culture of hand-outs.

“But Biwott hit back, saying he was growing wealthy by the day because he shared what God had given him with ordinary folk,” Bartoo recalled.

That he led a secretive life is not in doubt. Even in his generosity, he remained secretive in his dealings.

“When he could not assist you in person, he would use proxies,” said Bartoo.

He was a man of few words, measured what he said and rarely delegated personal assignment.

When he lost his Keiyo South Parliamentary seat in 2007 to a political newcomer Jackson Kiptanui, he personally scripted a brief statement conceding defeat.

“When he called a press conference, he was the one posing the questions, asking journalists what they thought made him lose his seat.

“Getting the man on telephone was another headache. He never owned a mobile phone, and could only be reached through his PA,” Bartoo recalls.

This style of dealing with the media made it easy for him to keep journalists away from his private life.

Biwott was a gifted writer. He probably honed this skills when he served as a journalist in his early years.

“If his biography was to be written, my guess is he would have done it himself.”

Adopted from the Standard

Nicholas Biwott never carried a mobile phone

Nicholas Biwott lived a life of such mystery and secrecy that his business dealings have remained a top secret even to his closest associates.

The 77-year-old, who breathed his last yesterday, carries with him to the grave secrets of a vast business empire that he built, but the public largely got barely a glimpse of his net worth.

According to Nigeria’s Venture Financial Magazine, Biwott was worth Sh100 billion in 2013, placing him among the top 50 richest people in Africa.

But perhaps of contrast is that even with his billions, he never carried a phone and the self-proclaimed ‘Total Man’ for some unknown reason lived like someone wanted him dead.

Nicholas Biwott was known to trust no one, not even his own security detail, friends or colleagues.

Many described him as a man who was obsessed with security – he switched cars in a span of less than a kilometre when travelling from one destination to another during his private and official Government missions.

He was also well known for his habit of not accepting drinks or food brought to him in restaurants.

And the former minister was also keen on not disclosing his age.

Nicholas Biwott Wealth – Nicholas Biwott Net worth

This list has been circulating on social media. We can’t determine its accuracy, but it gives you a sense of the man – Nicholas Biwott

  1. Barsirim Investment -Biwott 100%
  2. Kipsinende Farm- Biwott 100%
  3. Rono Ltd- Biwott 100%
  4. National Milling Corporation- Seven shareholders including Moi and Kulei
  5. Yaya Centre (worth KSh 3.5 billion) – Biwott 100%
  6. HZ Group of Companies- Biwott 100%
  7. LZ Engineering Biwott 100%
  8. Premier Group of Companies- Biwott 100%
  9. HZ Construction and Engineering -Biwott 100%
  10. Air Kenya Aviation Ltd- Biwott 100%
  11. Pete Aviation and Electronics Ltd- Biwott 100%
  12. Ziba Management & Services -Biwott 100%
  13. HZ Group of Companies, Israel- Biwott 100%
  14. Lima Kenya- Biwott 50%, Moi 50%
  15. Air Kenya- Biwott 50%, Moi 50%
  16. Safaricom Kenya- Biwott, Charles Field Marsham and Gideon Moi.
  17. Uhuru Highway Development – Biwott
  18. 10,000 hectare ranch in Australia
  19. Kenol-Kobil- Biwott.
  20. Petrol Stations in Uganda Operated through Kenol-Kobil! (Worth KSh7 billion)
  21. Westmont – An independent power producer company owned by Biwott and Harbinder Sethi Singh.
  22. Grand Diani Reef Hotel – Biwott
  23. Regional Air – Biwott.
  24. H Young and Company Steel manufacturers – Biwott
  25. First American Bank- Merali, Biwott, James Kanyotu, Gideon Moi
  26. Middle East Bank- Biwott, Moi
  27. TransNational Bank -Moi, Biwott, Nyachae, Kangwana

Nicholas Biwott Dead

Former Cabinet Minister Nicholas Biwott is dead.

Mr Biwott, popularly known as ‘Total Man’, passed on at a Nairobi hospital after a long illness, his personal assistant said.

His body has been moved to Lee Funeral Home.

Born 77 years ago, Mr Biwott bestrode Kenya’s political landscape like a colossus in the post 1982 attempted coup era —helping retired President Daniel Moi deal with the growing opposition.

Most of his peers hold that when the story of Moi is exhaustively told, he will occupy a number of chapters.

Even though Mr Moi had a vice president, it was an open secret that Total Man was closer to the Head of State and no one in the Cabinet dared to go against his word.

There would be serious repercussions.

Sources indicate his health had taken a downward spiral in the last one year.

He has been in and out of hospital.

Total Man’s death is yet another personal loss for President Uhuru Kenyatta, coming less than a week after the demise of Interior CS Joseph Nkaissery last Saturday.

Mr Biwott’s National Vision Party of Kenya (NVP) had endorsed Mr Kenyatta for a second term in office and he was one of the key opinion leaders he was relying on to campaign in the North Rift.

For a man who was an MP for 28 years representing Keiyo South Constituency, the loss to ODM’s Jackson Kiptanui Kamai in 2007 dealt a humiliating blow to Mr Biwott who had himself became an institution in the regional politics.

It is worth noting that before he formed his party, Total Man’s faction in Kanu had lost the control of the party to another wing led by Mr Kenyatta following a successful petition in the High Court.

Nicholas Biwott Biography

Nicholas Biwott (Kipyator Nicholas Kiprono arap Biwott) was born in 1940 in Keiyo, Elgeyo Marakwet county . He is  a Kenyan businessman, politician and philanthropist.

His mother Maria Soti and his father Cheserem,  a successful market trader in Eldoret.  Cheserem’s initial capital had been based on being a cattle owner and throughout his early adult years he developed substantial herds of cattle, sheep and goats. The young Nicholas Biwott grew up herding these flocks in keeping with Kalenjin tradition. As a teenager and young man Nicholas Biwott worked alongside his father and together they built a successful business as a market trader in Eldoret.

Nicholas Biwott Education Background

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  1. March 1966 – 1968:  Graduate student at University of Melbourne, Australia , Masters in Economics
  2. 1966 : Student at Kenya Institute of Administration, Nairobi,Public Administration.
  3. February 1962 – Dec 1964: Undergraduate student at University of Melbourne, Australia, Bachelor of Commerce.
  4. February–December 1961 : George Taylor University, Melbourne, Australia, Diploma in Public Administration: majored in Economics and Political Science.
  5. 1955- 1958: Kapsabet High School, Rift Valley Province;
  6. 1951-1954 : Tambach Intermediate School, Tambach Rift Valley Province;

Nicholas Biwott Political career

Category: Nicholas Biwott Biography

2002: Aspirant Member of Parliament for Keiyo South constituency( lost to Jackson Kiptanui arap Kamai)

Following the 2002 election, Biwott served on the Devolution Committee of the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission. Biwott was the only Member of Parliament, however, to abstain on the Constitutional Referendum held in 2005, stating that the Draft Constitution ‘would divide the country along ethnic lines’. The Draft Constitution was rejected at the Referendum.

1997- 2002: Member of Parliament for Keiyo South constituency

1992- 1997: Member of Parliament for Keiyo South constituency.

1988- 1992:  Member of Parliament for Keiyo South constituency.

1983- 1988:  Member of Parliament for Keiyo-Marakwet, on a KANU ticket.

1979- 1983: Member of Parliament for Keiyo-Marakwet, on a KANU ticket.

1974: Aspirant Member of Parliament for Keiyo South constituency.

Nicholas Biwott Familiy

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Nicholas Biwott Children

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Nicholas Biwott Wife

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Nicholas Biwott Civil Services

Nicholas Biwott – District Officer

Category: Nicholas Biwott Biography

Nicholas Biwott entered government service in 1965 as the District Officer in South Imenti and Tharaki, Meru District (Jan 1965–66). As District Officer Biwott instituted, on a ‘harrambe’ basis, community fund-raising programmes to aid the development of local irrigation projects and roads, to build a health centre at Nkwene and schools at Nkubu and Kanyakini, develop employment at the Egoji quarries and promote the planting of coffee and tea. He was also actively involved in the resettlement of previously European owned land through the ‘Land Transfer’ programme, part of the ‘Million Acres’ scheme, and played a central role in the rehabilitation of the Mau Mau, many of whom still remained in the Mau Forest four years after the end of the ‘Emergency’, helping to persuade them to give up violence and organising the resettlement of many on to their own land.

Nicholas Biwott – Ministry of Agriculture

Category: Nicholas Biwott Biography

Having completed his Master’s degree in Australia in 1968, Nicholas Biwott returned to public service in the Ministry of Agriculture, GOK, Personal Assistant to Minister Bruce MacKenzie (1968–1970). He coordinated cereal production, the marketing of cereal crops and the management of the Ministry’s fertilizer policy, and helped develop research into new strains of wheat and maize more suited to the growing conditions in Kenya. He played a similar coordinating role for the Ministry’s work with the East African Council of Ministers (MacKenzie was also a member of the Council), guiding Kenya’s policy in the region in the development of ports, railways and the East African Airways.

Nicholas Biwott – Treasury

Category: Nicholas Biwott Biography

In 1971 Nicholas Biwott moved to the Treasury as Senior Secretary under the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Mwai Kibaki. In 1972 he created and headed the External Aid Division and technical assistance program dealing with external resources, bringing in experts and arranging cultural exchanges. Notably he helped facilitate the establishment of the French School in Nairobi (now called the Lycee Denis Diderot), the French Cultural Centre with the Alliance de Francais, and the German Frederick Ebert Stifftung Foundation in cooperation with the Gurter Institute.

Nicholas Biwott – Ministry of Home Affairs

Category: Nicholas Biwott Biography

In late 1972 Nicholas Biwott transferred to the Ministry of Home Affairs on the personal recommendation of President Kenyatta to work with his Vice-President and the Minister of Home Affairs, Daniel arap Moi.

In 1974 Biwott stood as a candidate for the Keiyo South constituency in the general election of that year but was narrowly defeated.

Following the 1974 election Nicholas Biwott was recalled to the Ministry of Home Affairs as Under Secretary (1974–1978) to Minister Daniel arap Moi, Kenya’s Vice President. With the aging President Kenyatta unable to fulfil all the functions of the presidency, Moi took a leading role in the East African region with the result that Nicholas Biwott spent much of the next four years dealing with the Organisation of African Unity, the Commonwealth, the ‘non-aligned’ states and promoting the ‘good neighbourliness’ policy with states bordering Kenya.

Kenyatta’s death in 1978 saw Daniel arap Moi elevated to the presidency and Nicholas Biwott promoted to Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Office of the President[5] (1978–1979).

Nicholas Biwott – Minister of State

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Following the election of 1979 (in which he was elected Member of Parliament for 1979 Keiyo South election, a seat he retained until December 2007), Nicholas Biwott returned to the Office of the President but now promoted to Minister of State (1979–1982) with responsibility for science and technology, cabinet affairs, land settlement and immigration.

Under his auspices the Kenya Medical Research Institute was established in the same year to carry out health science research in Kenya. (Now in its 31st year, KEMRI continues its work as “a leading centre of excellence in the promotion of quality health”).

Nicholas Biwott – Minister of Regional Development, Science and Technology

Category: Nicholas Biwott Biography

In September 1982 he was appointed Minister of Regional Development, Science and Technology. Learning from examples of other regional development policies, notably in Australia and Tennessee in the USA, he created two regional development authorities, the Lake Basin Development Authority and the Kerio Valley Development Authority.

Nicholas Biwott – Minister of Energy

Category: Nicholas Biwott Biography

In September 1983, Nicholas Biwott was made Minster of Energy and Regional Development and in March 1988 (following a reorganisation of ministry portfolios) he became Minister of Energy, a post he held until January 1991.

Over the next seven years he was instrumental in establishing the National Oil Corporation, the building of National Oil storage facilities near Nairobi and connecting them to the Mombasa refinery, and extending the pipeline from Nairobi to Kisumu and Eldoret. This period that saw rapid advances in efforts to improve Kenya’s electricity supply and delivery with a rural electrification programme, work beginning on the Sondu Mirei Dam, and the completions of the Masinga Multi Purpose Dam, the Kiambere Hydro Electric Dam and the Turkwell Hydro Electric Multi Purpose Dam.

Nicholas Biwott – Minister of East African and Regional Co-operation

Category: Nicholas Biwott Biography

Although he remained a Member of Parliament, Biwott held no position in the Government of Kenya from 1991 until he re-entered government as Minister of State in the Office of the President of East Africa in 1997 before, in January 1998, he established and was appointed Minister of the new Ministry of East African and Regional Co-operation (1998–1999).

Nicholas Biwott played a central role in COMESA – the Common Market for East and Central Africa, coordinating with COMESA partner Ministers legislation for an East African Road network, legislation for an East African Legislative Assembly, and becoming Chairman of both COMESA and of the East Africa Council of Ministers.

Nicholas Biwott – Minister of Trade and Industry, Tourism and East African Cooperation

Category: Nicholas Biwott Biography

In September 1999 Biwott’s ministerial portfolio was expanded when he became Minister of Trade and Industry, Tourism and East African Cooperation (1999–2001), a post he held for the next three years during which he established a Tourist Trust Fund with the European Union, set up the Tourist Police and re-introduced the East Africa Safari Rallies.

Biwott’s promotion of Kenyan tourism met with some praise. He was variously described as “the hardest working minister of tourism Kenya has ever had” and as “the best minister of tourism in 25 years”.

In May 2001 (following a further reorganisation of Ministry responsibilities) Nicholas Biwott continued as the Minister of Trade and Industry and East African Tourism (2001–2002). Over the next eighteen months he established the Small Medium Trade Trust Fund with the European Union, introduced an Intellectual Property bill which was passed as an Act, accomplished a free trade area with COMESA, established the Africa Trade Insurance Agency to cover foreign investments against political risk, and served as Chairman of the African Caribbean Pacific Group (ACP) at the World Trade Organisation.

Nicholas Biwott – Businessman

Category: Nicholas Biwott Biography

Nicholas Biwott leads an active business life and is regarded as one of Kenya’s most successful entrepreneurs.

As a teenager in the late 1950s Biwott worked alongside his father who had established a successful fruit and vegetable business in Eldoret. The young Biwott also borrowed small amounts of money from a local bank with which to expand his own business sideline selling meat products and eggs. Nicholas Biwott continued to expand his own business and in the late 1960s formed ABC Foods selling food and animal feed products.

Within a few years Nicholas Biwott was able to invest in farms and businesses, taking advantage of the post-independence banking policies at the time by which Kenyans were granted loans on favourable terms. In 1969, aged 29, Biwott  purchased the Eldoret Town  International Harvester (IH) dealership (now FMD trading as Lima Ltd). He also purchased a dairy farm in the same year, started an importer exporter business in 1972, purchased two wheat farms in 1974, invested in the sole agency for IH in Kenya for agricultural tractors and implements in 1975, and purchased a local air operator in 1977 (now Air Kenya).

Biwott’s business philosophy of purchasing small or failing businesses, investing and re-investing in them over many years, appears to have paid dividends. He is now regarded as one of Kenya’s wealthiest businessmen.

Biwott’s businesses in Kenya employ thousands of people and one company of which he is the major shareholder, has for many years been listed among Kenya’s top 10 corporate taxpayers.

Nicholas Biwott Philanthropist

Category: Nicholas Biwott Biography

Since 1980 Nicholas Biwott has been a member and trustee both of the Management Committee and the Advocacy, Publicity and Fundraising Committee of The National Fund for the Disabled of Kenya.

Biwott continues to expand and develop the scope of his charitable work, most recently in 2008 establishing the Mbegu Trust ‘to develop education and opportunity in Kenya’.

Nicholas Biwott is on record over the last 40 years of supporting many projects in the areas of education, health and medicine, and assisting small businesses.

Nicholas Biwott Educational projects

Category: Nicholas Biwott Biography

Nicholas Biwott has raised and contributed funds for the building of some 16 schools, serving as Chairman of the Board for many of them.

He has built and funded two of these schools in their entirety:

  1. The Biwott Secondary School
  2. The Maria Soti Educational Centre

The Maria Soti Educational Centre, a model school for girls from all backgrounds and areas of Kenya, has been built near Eldoret by Nicholas Biwott as a tribute to his mother.

He has also raised and contributed funds for the building and expansion of:

  1. Tambach Teachers Training College (and currently serves as Chairman of the Board)
  2. The Flax Polytechnic
  3. The Chepsirer Polytechnic
  4. The Chepkorio Polytechnic

Nicholas Biwott is also a founder and Patron of the Keiyo South Education Foundation that provides bursaries to needy students from primary to post secondary education.

Nicholas Biwott Funding health and medicine

Category: Nicholas Biwott Biography

In the area of health and medicine Nicholas Biwoot has raised and contributed funds for the building of Sub District Hospitals including;

  1. The Kaptarakwa Sub District Hospital
  2. The Kacholwo Sub District (Maternity) Hospital

The building or expansion of Health Centres, including;

  1. Chepkorio Health Centre
  2. Kapmwosor Health Centre
  3. Muskut Health Centre

The building of Dispensaries, including;

  1. The Kiptulos Dispensary
  2. The Lelboinet Dispensary
  3. The Flax Dispensary
  4. The Simotwo Dispensary
  5. The Kipsaos Dispensary
  6. The Chang’ach Barak Dispensary (venomous bites)
  7. The Chang’ach Barak Dispensary (general)
  8. The Cheplooch Dispensary]

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Nicholas Biwott

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