Unsolved Mystery Murder of Uhuru's Sister-in-Law

  • Jomo Kenyatta at a past photo shoot File
  • The body of Ms Esther Njoki Muigai, the fifth wife of Peter Muigai Kenyatta, was found dumped on their vast farm at Kasarani, Nairobi, on October 16, 1980.

    Muigai Kenyatta, a son of the late President Jomo Kenyatta and Grace Wahu Kenyatta was Uhuru’s elder step-brother and lived on the expansive farm with his large family.

    According to police records, Ms Muigai was waylaid by gangsters when she got out of her car to open the farm gate, only to fall prey to a perfectly executed ambush.

    Eye witness reports from the farm hands on duty then narrated how she was heard screaming before being forced back into her vehicle where she was murdered.

    The Nation was the only paper that reported on the story

    At around 7.30pm a farm worker, a Mr Obonyo, said he heard somebody screaming outside the gate and saw a vehicle travelling towards Njiru Country Club while using the farms’ private road.

    Alarms were raised and after combing through the vast estate, her body was found dumped by a road near Njiru Country Club just after midnight, while her car was found partially burnt and abandoned more than 25 kilometres away near Jamhuri Park, next to the war cemetery.

    It is reported that a sword found in her car resembled those used by soldiers deployed to guard the farm.

    The murder of Uhuru’s sister-in-law puzzles many despite 39 years having passed since the crime.

    The fact that the farm could only be accessed through a private road that under constant surveillance coupled with it just being located behind the Gatharaini armoury (a military compound guarded by armed soldiers 24 hours a day), left more questions than answers.

    The Nation was the only paper that ran the story of her murder in 1980 as the matter was hushed up "to protect the family name".

    No further statements were made regarding the investigation except a preliminary one revealing that Ms Muigai had been hit with a blunt object leading to her death.

    According to reports, CID director in 1987, Mr Ignatius Nderi, and a police reservist at the time Mr Patrick Shaw, disclosed that they had furnished an unnamed senior member of the family with their findings, after which they were instructed to keep off what was termed as a family matter.

    Patrick Shaw was arguably Kenya's most feared cop

    After the deceased was laid to rest, the police were called upon to hunt down the killers with Mr Shaw and an upcoming scene-of-crime officer, Humphrey Kariuki, chosen to head the task force.

    Their findings have not been revealed to the children of the late Esther Njoki Muigai to date.

    Her children Loise, Jennifer, Eugene, and Susan are some of the 22 children left behind by Uhuru's stepbrother.