Betrayal, two coffins and one grave: tragic end to woman’s college love

Betrayal, two coffins and one grave: tragic end to woman’s college love

For young Precious Wairimu, her mother Maureen Wangui was her ultimate protector.

Wairimu’s father had distanced himself from her life, leaving Wangui to assume both parental roles.

But the responsibility became too much for Wangui and she chose to end her suffering.

Their fates intertwined, mother and daughter died on the same day. They were laid to rest in separate coffins, but in the same grave, in a poignant ceremony in Kabiroini village, Kirinyaga County, on Friday.

A trained nutritionist, Wangui, 29, died after jumping into the swollen Nyamindi River with her baby strapped to her back, sending shockwaves through the sprawling village in Gichugu Constituency.

Emotions ran high as mother and daughter were buried in the same grave on Friday.

Neighbours described Wangui as a friendly person who got on well with them.

“She was modest and outgoing. I loved her. Her death and that of her daughter has left us in mourning,” said one of the villagers.

“It was a big blow to the family and it is high time we start taking mental health issues seriously,” said Kirinyaga County Assembly Majority Leader Daniel Kibinga.

Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru sent her condolences.

“It has come as a shock to us. It is painful for us to lose such young souls,” said Harriet Kabiru, Wangui’s aunt.

“There is a lot of propaganda going on in the village and on social media and the family is not happy at all. This should stop immediately so that we as a family can heal in peace,” Kabiru added.

The family said Wangui had been suffering from depression before she died by suicide.

Clerk with Embu County
Wangui’s father, Simon Munene, is a contractor and her mother, Irene Micere, is a clerk with Embu County government.

The parents described their daughter as a loving person who always greeted them with a smile.

Wangui jumped into the flooded Nyamindi River on May 4 with her sickly five-year-old child strapped to her back.

The bodies were recovered from the river and taken to the mortuary.

The child’s body was the first to be located by the search team.

Three days later, Wangui’s body was spotted floating in the water, 10 kilometres from where she and her daughter drowned.

Before her death, Wangui reportedly suffered mental anguish after her baby fell ill.

She also complained constantly about not being able to make ends meet because she had no job.

“She was very well brought up, lacking nothing, but she had her problems that made her live the life she chose. We tried everything to help her overcome them, but in the end she took a path that left us very shaken,” said her mother.

“When my daughter gave birth, her lover visited her regularly and even bought clothes for the baby with his parents,” added Micere.

Determined to excel in life
“Determined to excel in life, Wangui continued her education and as her mother, I raised her baby until she finished her course. She later returned home and continued to care for the baby, but sadly the child was diagnosed with meningitis, which left her paralysed.”

The baby was in and out of the hospital.

“When my daughter found out that the man of her heart had married another woman and even had a child with her, she became very bitter. She felt deceived and betrayed. That was when her condition worsened,” Micere explained.

“Sometimes she would scream and refuse to eat without provocation.”

Her parents took her to the Embu Referral Hospital for a medical check-up and counselling.

“She told us that she was not mad and that she would not take any medication prescribed by a psychiatrist,” said Micere.

“Sometimes she was abnormally quiet, refused to talk to us and threatened to leave the house forever,” Micere added.

After that, Wangui began to show suicidal behaviour, forcing her parents to keep a close eye on her.

“Once, after dinner, our daughter became violent and wanted to leave the house at night with her child. I took the child from her and told her she was not going anywhere. After my husband talked to her, she calmed down and agreed to stay at home.

Plotted how to kill herself
Fed up with life, Wangui secretly plotted how to kill herself and her child while she stayed with her parents in Embu, where they work.

She persuaded her father to give her part of the coffee farm so that she could provide for her child.

On Tuesday last week, Wangui said she was going to visit her elderly grandparents – Fridah Njoki, 80, and Ngobo Kuruma, 90, at Kabiroini in Gichugu.

She set off accompanied by her father. On arrival in Kabiroini, the father showed Wangui her part of the coffee farm.

Later, the father returned to Embu, leaving his daughter with her grandparents.

The worst happened a few days later: Wangui died by suicide.

That Saturday, Wangui went to the flooded Nyamindi River, jumped into the water and drowned with her daughter.

She was washing clothes outside when she sneaked out of the compound unnoticed and ran to the river which is nearby.

A guard at the nearby coffee factory witnessed the shocking incident and alerted the authorities.

“Wangui was a visionary. She wanted to get the best education and live a life free of dependency,” the mother added.

Mr Munene described his daughter as hardworking and cheerful.

“My daughter was very active, she was always smiling but she never talked much, we loved her so much,” he said.

Stephen Maembe, an uncle, recalled how he interacted with Wangui when she stayed with her grandparents.

“Wangui seemed fine, we talked a lot and she looked happy. She was friendly to everyone and her death took us by surprise,” Maembe said.

Wangui was the firstborn in a family of two.

By DailyNation

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