Woman who left man after getting Mau Mau compensation renews marriage vows

Lawrence Kairianja, 83, and his 80-year-old wife Thaderinah Wanjiru outside their house in Mukurweini, Nyeri on September 11, 2015. Wanjiru has taken in her husband after allegedly kicking him out after she received Sh 400,000 as compensation from the British government. PHOTO: MOSE SAMMY/STANDARD

An elderly Nyeri couple that separated in February shortly after one of them was paid Sh400,000 by the British government has finally reunited.

Thaderinah Wanjiru, 80, who shocked the country after she parted ways with Lawrence Kairianja, her husband of 63 years, after receiving the Mau Mau compensation, has welcomed him back home and committed to live with him for the rest of her life.

When The Standard visited the couple's home at Kibutio village in Mukurweini recently, Wanjiru vehemently denied that money caused the split between them.

"I would never do such a thing to my beloved husband. It is my children who forced him out of our home on learning that he was harassing and threatening me with death," she said.

She expressed her undying love for Kairianja, 83. Describing herself as a woman who keeps her word, Wanjiru said  when she vowed during their youthful days to stick with him till death separates them, she meant it.

The farmer said although they have no good plans on how to invest the money, they will spend it together up to the last coin.

The mother of seven revealed she has already registered Kairianja, who has dementia, for the next phase of the war veterans' compensation.

And although Wanjiru vows she has taken her husband back due to her undying love for him, their first-born son Bernard Mwangi is not convinced. He reads mischief in his mother's "good gesture" to his ailing father and suspects that she is only after the money he is anticipating to get from Britain.

"My mother has neglected the old man for far too long now. Were it not for me, his condition would certainly be worse than it is currently," he told us.

However, his statement did not go down well with his mother, who engaged in a vitriolic argument and ultimately disowned him as her son in our presence.

According to Mwangi, his mother is prejudiced against him because he never shies away from speaking his mind especially when shielding his father from her mistreatment.

Before Kairianja returned to his matrimonial home, he lived in a two-roomed house put up for him by well-wishers including Gikondi Member of County Assembly (MCA) James Kahiga in whose Ward the couple lives.

Prior to that, Kairianja had sought refuge in various homesteads in the neighbourhood. His most notable host was Wahome Warui, who sheltered him on the night he was locked out.

Warui, also a beneficiary of the Mau Mau payout, recalled hearing subtle knocks on his bedroom's window at around 11pm on the night Kairianja was thrown out.

"On opening the door, I found Kairianja standing outside with a haggard face. He looked disturbed," Warui narrated.

The following day, Wanjiru and her last-born son David Wanjohi were arrested by police officers from Kibutio Police Post and booked at Mukurweini Police Station.

They were however released later after agreeing to settle the matter amicably as a family.

Kahiga, the area MCA, who has been instrumental in reuniting the couple, cautioned the siblings against disrespecting and neglecting their father saying by doing so, they would be incurring an unnecessary curse on themselves, which would eventually lead to their downfall.

Due to Kairianja's poor health, the couple was unable to attend the unveiling of the Mau Mau memorial at Uhuru Park in Nairobi last Saturday.