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Esther Waitherero: Kibaki's sister buried in low-key sendoff

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

Former President Mwai Kibaki’s last remaining sibling Esther Waitherero was buried yesterday in a low-key ceremony at her home in Gatuya-ini, Othaya in Nyeri County.

She was eulogised by President Uhuru Kenyatta as “a strong pillar and influence in the life of the late Mwai Kibaki.”

Waitherero, whose age the family has put at 115, was the fourth born in the family of Kibaki Githinji and his first wife Teresiah Wanjiku.

She was hailed as humble, cheerful and generous by residents at her send-off Mass at St John Bosco, Gatuya-ini Catholic Church grounds before internment at her home.

Father George Kinuthia, in charge of Othaya Catholic Parish described her as a self-contented Kenyan whose generosity overflowed her earthly possessions.

“She had a big heart and a warmth that was irresistible. She will be missed by a village and her whole clan.”

Those at the sendoff included Kibaki’s children Jimmy and Judy, Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi and his wife Maria Mbeneka as well as ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru, Othaya MP Gichuki Mugambi and his predecessor Mary Wambui.

But unlike the sendoff for her famous brother last April 30, which was a State funeral, Waitherero’s final journey was a simple but sombre affair.

She was buried where she had lived as a widow for most of her life after her husband Gichuki Macharia, also known as Kamami, died in the Mau Mau liberation struggle.