First Lady Margaret Kenyatta hails from the family of late former Kenya Railways Managing Director Dr Ephantus Njuguna Gakuo. He was the first African to appointed Kenya Railways MD.
Mrs Kenyatta follows in the footsteps of her father, Dr. Gakuo who made a name for himself at the helm of Kenya Railways.
Margaret Kenyatta’s father was a former Kenya Railways MD. Dr Njuguna took over from GPG Mackay in 1964.
He was an alumnus of Alliance High School. He first served as the secretary at the East African Tobacco Company and was later appointed the East African Railways & Harbours Director General. He held the role for 12 years from 1964 to 1976.
According to reports, Gakuo acquired £13 million (approximately Ksh1.8 billion) from the World Bank which was used to fund the high capacity rolling stock, new marshalling yards, modern training methods and better rail traffic control.
He acquired an additional £15 million (approximately Ksh2.1 billion) from the Central Legislation Assembly which were used to increase rail stock and wagons.
Dr. Gakuo established Kenya Railways into a profit-making state parastatals. He faced the challenge of a bloated workforce — always on the verge of strikes and go-slows. The modernisation programme was marred with delays and capacity challenges.
He passed away in August 2005.
Gakuo married his German wife and they had two children-the third First lady of Kenyan and the reclusive Maina Gakuo.