A 62-year-old grandmother sentenced to 35 years in prison by a Loitoktok court is not a stranger to prison life.
Joyce Wairimu Kariuki had spent 17 years in jail for various offences, including robbery with violence, theft and preparing a fake title deed.
Wairimu started off her career life in the public service as a secretary in the Ministry of Cooperatives. She rose through the ranks to her last position as a senior secretary at the ministry before quitting.
The Pangani Girls High School and Kenyatta University alumni walked out on her family in 2000 never to return. She left her two teenage children under the care of their father.
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Very little was known of her whereabouts, her daughter revealed yesterday.
On Wednesday, a chief magistrate’s court in Loitoktok sealed the granny’s fate after handing her the lengthy jail term.
She had only left Shimo la Tewa prison in 2016 through the presidential pardon after serving a 14-year jail term.
With her husband dead, her now grown-up son and daughter were happy that she had finally left jail and were looking forward to spending time together.
But this was not to be, as Wairimu was soon back to her old ways. She was arrested last year for violently robbing a motorist of his lorry on April 17, 2019, at Kibwezi, Makueni County.
She is now staring at a longer time in jail should the courts find her guilty of two other criminal matters pending before the same court.
One of the pending cases involves the theft of a vehicle.
If she is lucky to escape a jail term in the pending criminal matters, Wairimu will leave jail only three years before her 100th birthday.
DCI Chief George Kinoti twitted that Wairimu was the link between a criminal gang operating between Nairobi, Mombasa and Nakuru town.
The gang is notorious for theft of lorries and probox vehicles which are then sold in neighbouring Tanzania.
Despite all these, Wairimu’s daughter Muthoni Wanjau said the family was still coming to term with the fact that their mother had been jailed.
She described her as a loving and protective mother who did her best to see her family succeed. “Those who know my mother know she is a very kind person who loves her family,“ she told The Standard on phone yesterday.
She described her mother as secretive, saying she asked her at one point why she was involving herself in crime and she simply blamed the devil.