Billionaire banker, Mugo Mungai, goes down fighting Moi’s injustices
Shortly after Yoweri Museveni came to power in Uganda, in 1986, Kenyan banker Mugo Mungai flew to Kampala with a burning mission: He wanted to open a new branch of his Pioneer Building Society and Capital Finance.
The business idea was right, but the timing was wrong. Former President Daniel Moi suspected that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and Museveni were working against him. He was also suspicious of wealthy Mt Kenya entrepreneurs and their domination of national politics.
Mungai, who passed on this week at 81, would face the wrath of President Moi’s government over that visit. He lost his bank and all his properties.
“You went to buy guns?” Mungai, then 44, was asked by interrogators from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID, then headed by Noah arap Too. As Mungai would later tell this writer at his Spartan United Kenya Club office, the timing of his Uganda visit was wrong. “I didn’t know that I was a marked man.” For Mungai, it did not rain; it poured.
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