Doctor and human rights activist Magare Gikenyi, has been on the limelight for challenging President William Ruto’s decisions in court since taking office in 2022.
He has made headlines for challenging the implementation of different reforms for their effects on Kenyans including the recent implementation of the eCitizen school fees payment.
Of note is that, Doctor Gikenyi, who headlines newspapers as ‘a Nakuru based Doctor’ has won many of these cases.
In the latest case, the High Court suspended the circular issued by Education PS Belio Kipsang requiring parents to pay school fees through the e-Citizen platform after Gikenyi’s petition.
Speaking during an interview with a local media station on Thursday, February 8, Gikenyi, who has been a practicing doctor since 2008, shared he was inspired to get into activism because of his poor background.
Gikenyi on His Family and Childhood
Gikenyi narrated that he was born and raised in Kisii adding that he came from a poor family background.
Village life, he added, was not easy because his family was disregarded and disrespected by other villagers because of their social and financial status.
“I grew up in Kisii from a fairly poor background so when we went to fetch water from the river, we would meet boys who would chase us away because of our poor background,’ he said.
Also, the good doctor explained that it did not help that his father had 16 children. Meaning that the already scarce resources still had to be shared among them.
“My father had 16 children, so we were not respected in that society,” he added.
Further, Doctor Gikenyi said that he was often frustrated by hospital visits in the village because the doctors did not give the needed attention to patients.
He observed that patients, including himself, would take too long in the waiting room before getting attended to, even in cases of medical emergencies.
“Other times when I went to the hospital, I would wait for a very long time just to get attended to. I decided that I would grow up to become a doctor so that I can do better, said the doctor.
Gikenyi then vowed, to grow up and become a doctor, so he could offer patients the services they deserved. And he did.
“I promised that when I grew up, I would always try and stop those kinds of injustices. I wanted to fight for other people in the society and bring fairness,” he added.
Turning Point into Activism
Further into his medical career, the doctor went back to school for further studies when he found himself in a sticky situation with his lecturer.
He narrated that while engaging in political banters with his lecturer, he declared his support for former United States President Donald Trump, a move that did not get a positive reception.
The lecturer, according to him, made a big fuss out of the issue and he ended up being suspended from school.
“I was supporting Trump then. The lecturer was offended and raised the complaint to the university saying that I was a bad doctor. I was then suspended from the university because of that,” he said.
Subsequently, Gikenyi moved to court over the matter and won. That for him, was his turning point into seeking justice for even bigger national issues that he felt affected vulnerable Kenyans.
“I moved to court and got orders of injunction to allow me to continue my education,” he said.
Gikenyi also highlighted the importance of fighting for those who are unable to defend themselves.
Petitions Filed by Gikenyi
In January 2024, Gikenyi moved to court to push for the taxation of tithes, offerings and donations arguing that the Constitution makes it mandatory for the taxation burden to be shared fairly.
Additionally, in January 2022, the surgeon petitioned the court seeking orders to have equal duration for both paternity and maternity leaves. He wanted the court to extend the paternity leave to three months, same as maternity leave.
In September 2022, he filed a suit challenging the nomination of Japheth Koome by President William Ruto to the position of the Inspector General of Police stating that it was unconstitutional.
Also, in November 2022, the High Court stopped the vetting of Principal Secretary nominees whose names were forwarded to Parliament by President William Ruto after Gikenyi submitted a petition in conjunction with the Law Society of Kenya.