Tears as Wanjiru widow narrates tragic night

The late Samuel Kamau Wanjiru after winning the marathon at the Beijing 2008 Olympics. PHOTO/File
(FILE)The late Samuel Kamau Wanjiru after winning the marathon at the Beijing 2008 Olympics. PHOTO/File

Bursts of dark emotion filled the courtroom on Wednesday as Terezah Njeri, widow of the late Beijing Olympics men marathon gold medallist Samuel Kamau Wanjiru, narrated the events that transpired on the night she lost her champion husband.

In a gripping testimony, a tearful Njeri told the court that the news of her husband’s demise only filtered through to her while she sat at the Nyahururu police cells on May 16, 2011 where she spent the night.

“I only learnt of Kamau’s demise in the morning at around six o’oclock, while in the cells I overhead an officer from night patrol tell his colleagues that Kamau passed on in the night,” Terezah said, then broke down in tears.

The facts by Terezah emerged during her turn in the witness stand telling the court what she knew about the death of Wanjiru that remains a mystery seven years after falling from the height of his balcony.

She told the court that two days before Wanjiru’s death, she had travelled from Ngong to Nyahururu where she had gone to pick school fees and birth certificates belonging to their children from her husband.

On arrival Wanjiru was not there but she waited.

On the fateful night, Terezah had visited a cousin who lived a few miles away (about 10 minutes’ walk) from her Muthaiga home in Nyahururu.

She and the family of the relative had supper before she was dropped at her home at around 10:30pm. On arrival she noted that Kamau was home as indicated by the presence of his car in the parking lot. It had not been there when she left during the day.

“When I got into the compound through the small gate, I went straight to the servants’ quarter where I got some tea in a cup and went to my house. I went straight upstairs to our bedroom which was not locked.

“On pushing the door, I placed the cup of tea on a stool beside our bed. To my surprise, a lady jumped from the bed and seized me by the neck, asking what I was doing in her house yet I had mine in Nairobi. Then, it hit me she was sleeping with my husband,” she narrated.

According to Njeri, all these exchanges occurred while Wanjiru was ‘dead’ asleep. She decided to leave the bedroom and locked the metal door behind her since the bedroom main door had no lock.

-‘Nikiruka hapa utaniona’-

The widow told Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi that on her way to the gate, Wanjiru emerged from upstairs through the balcony which was directly facing the gate; and ordered her to open the door in vain. By this time Njeri had even possessed a bunch of keys from the custody of the home’s guards at the gate.

“Wanjiru told me, ‘Kuja ufungue mlango ama nikiruka hapa utaniona,’ (come open the door, otherwise if you make me jump you will not like it), the court was told.

Terezah decided to leave the compound and ran back to their relative. Later, she received a police call to report to Nyahururu police station. By this time she had been told by a male relative that Wanjiru had fallen off the balcony.

On arrival at the station, she was put in the police land cruiser and taken back to her compound after Wanjiru was taken to hospital by police officers.

The Police collected samples of evidence from the scene of crime where she says to have noted some blood on the ground but did not go into the house.

She was then driven back to the station where she was put to task to write a statement on what had transpired prior to Wanjiru alleged falling from the balcony.

Terezah was then put into a police cell, the officers having confiscated her phone. She told the court that when she heard that her husband fell from the balcony, she asked the police if she could visit him in the hospital but she was denied the opportunity.

Even that morning when she overheard of the husband demise, the police could not let free until at around 10 o’oclock when the police escorted her to Nyahururu District hospital where she found her husband’s body lying lifeless in the morgue.

She told the court that she was consulted on where the body would be preserved for which she proposed that it be transferred to Lee Funeral homes in Nairobi.

Terezah, termed as key and the witness with congest testimony that will help court big time in determining exactly what killed Wanjiru was stepped down for today due to time constraint.

She will continue with her testimony when the inquest resume in November 7 and the day after.

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Story By Agnes Oloo
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