Mary Wambui mystery and the day Kibaki publicly announced he was married to only one wife

By , K24 Digital
On Fri, 22 Apr, 2022 17:04 | 3 mins read
Retired President Mwai Kibaki and former First Lady Lucy Kibaki. PHOTO/Courtesy

Twelve years ago, former President Mwai Kibaki once came out to make a televised statement that he was married to only one wife, Lucy Muthoni Mwai who stood beside him during this unexpected address.

This declaration baffled the nation if not the world, as it brought forward the weighty question of what could have triggered the making of such a personal announcement by the head of state, the man wielding great power and control.

But those who knew him personally say that the President who was taciturn by nature could not have gone as far as bringing his monogamous or whatever status to everyone's attention were it not for endless and undue pressure to do so by the late First Lady who the family's close acquaintances fondly referred to as Mama Ciku.

It is said that Mama Lucy who was always seen to be of an overbearing character pushed Mzee to make this rare but targeted statement with the sole intent of marking territory, a behaviour common in the animal Kingdom, just to keep off nuisance 'husband snatchers'.

This then and now has remained a hallmark of speculations and counter-speculations on where exactly Mama Mary Wambui, the former Othaya MP belong. 

Sources privy to President Kibaki's personal life and who seek anonymity for fear of being seen to be antagonising his family are well known to say that Mama Wambui has remained a regular factor in his ( President Kibaki) life, albeit in a very discreet manner.

The relationship, according to these sources began many years back when the two met at the country's independence party, KANU offices in Nyeri town, opposite the vintage White Rhino Hotel where she worked as Secretary and tea girl. Kibaki was then the MP for Othaya.

"They have been friends for a long period as far as I know. But one thing I can say with certainty is that he has never introduced her to us as his wife," a source says.

There however exist scanty pointers to prove spoils shared or even to legitimize this relationship in any way but Wambui is said to have been a frequent visitor to the house on the hill, especially in the early days after Kibaki assumed power.

Former Othaya MP Mary Wambui during a past event. PHOTO/Courtesy

The arrangements on when and how she could visit are said to have been made in a very inconspicuous manner as any slight mistake would have landed all in trouble if at all this came to the attention of the 'belligerent' First Lady.

It is also in the public domain that Wambui enjoyed all trappings of power including bodyguards hired by the state and chase cars.

"We did this to Wambui because she was crucial to Mzee's life, but adds that her careless nature, ostensibly to seek attention always betrayed this course," a former Kibaki aide at statehouse says.

In the 2013 general elections, however, the two were on a collision course after Wambui defied the political stand taken by Kibaki to choose Gichuki Mugambi the then Othaya Development Authority Chair as his successor. Wambui defiantly declared her candidacy for the seat.

During these campaigns, Kibaki could always remind voters of his dire need to see Othaya move forward and wanted to leave them in the hands of an educated person and not anybody.

Wambui who is touted as barely educated had the salvos directed at her but this did not deter her as she managed to clinch the seat by trouncing Kibaki's favourite. Wambui later lost the seat to him (Gichuki Mugambi) after five years during the 2017 general elections.

Much or little has been said about the two since then, given that President Kibaki has always avoided a public life after he left office in 2013 and has largely remained indisposed.