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Mwai Kibaki's only surviving sibling, Esther Waitherero, dies

Esther Waithero at her home in Gatuyaini Village, Nyeri County on April 28, 2022. [Kibata Kihu, Standard]

Esther Waitherero Gichuki, the only surviving sibling of Kenya’s third President Mwai Kibaki, is dead.

Waitherero died aged 115 on Thursday morning, July 14 at her home in Gatuyaini Village in Othaya Constituency, Nyeri County.

Her son Francis Githinji confirmed to The Standard that Waitherero died at around 9:20am on Thursday.

The deceased is survived by four children (three sons and a daughter).

She initially had seven children, but three have since died.

Waitherero was widowed during her youth, when her husband, Gichuki Macharia, a Mau Mau fighter, died during the struggle for Kenya’s independence.

Waitherero lived not far from the home of her parents, Kibaki Githinji and Teresiah Wanjiku.

She was the fourth born in a family of eight children (three girls and five boys).

The centenarian earned a living by trading in tea produce.

She has been eulogised as an intelligent woman who had a sharp memory, even in old age.

Her son, Francis Githinji, told The Standard that the deceased had been on medication in the last few weeks.

“She was being attended to at home by doctors on call from the Mwai Kibaki Referral Hospital,” said Githinji.

The medical facility in Othaya is the Kenyatta National Hospital Annex in Nyeri County, which was renamed in honour of Kenya’s third president, who died on April 21, 2022.

Waitherero's nephew, Ndiritu Muriithi, who is the Governor of Laikipia County, said a meeting will be held later this week to plan her burial.