Former TV queen Esther Arunga-Timberlake’s story always reads like a novel; a concoction full of political drama, family conspiracy and conflict. Even from overseas, her life continues with that potent mix, as STEVENS MUENDO found out in an exclusive interview with her last week.
Pulse: When did you leave Kenya, how and why?
Esther: I left Kenya early this year together with my husband Timberlake and our baby, Sinclair. Things were thick. Just put yourself in my shoes; I was undergoing endless public scrutiny and threats by unknown people. We got threatening notes from people. We had to seek asylum and so we fled away to Dubai then to Melbourne, Australia where we are living now.
P: Some people believe that you are still around and all this is made up?
E: I know that I am misunderstood and that does not come as a surprise. I will get you details of my physical address and all you need to prove this. Whoever wants to prove this can come to Australia and visit. Our doors are open.
P: Who was threatening you then?
E: Some ‘powerful’ guys were tracking us all the time using what we believe were hired men. Everywhere we went a strange car followed us. It may sound bizarre but the same guys gave my husband an ultimatum to leave me and abandon his political ambitions if he wanted to live. One of the common cars that used to chase us was a black Range Rover. We escaped seven bullet shots in numerous attacks before relocating from Kitisuru to another hideout. That was late last year.
P: Did you report all this to the police?
E: We did. We did not know who to trust anymore. When we started working on our visas to leave Kenya, we were told that because of the negative media publicity we had, we needed to get police certificates on our character. We went to the CID headquarters and I got mine.
My husband was denied his. That is the same night bullets came flying through our house windows as raiders threatened. We escaped to the US ambassador’s residence and then got sneaked out of the country.
P: So the US Embassy organised your get-away?
E: The escape was organised by a special friend. She is actually related to a big shot in international politics.