Wanjiru and wife reconcile after death threat charge

Saturday January 1 2011

Olympic marathon champion Samwel Wanjiru (left) in a Nyahururu court when he was charged with threatening to kill his wife, Tereza Njeri, using an illegal firearm December 30, 2010. JOSEPH KURIA

Olympic marathon champion Samwel Wanjiru (left) in a Nyahururu court when he was charged with threatening to kill his wife, Tereza Njeri, using an illegal firearm December 30, 2010. JOSEPH KURIA  

By DAVID MACHARIA

The Olympic marathon champion Samuel Kamau Wanjiru and his wife Tereza Njeri have reconciled a day after their marital differences exploded into alleged death threats.

The two separately said family members from both sides intervened to reconcile the marathoner and the mother of his two children.

Wanjiru, who was at a construction site in Nakuru where he was supervising building of a commercial structure, said they were back together and there was optimism of his wife withdrawing the complaint she had filed with police, resulting to his arrest and arraignment in court.

“My wife is at home and you can speak to her to confirm that we have reconciled,” he said on phone.

Speaking separately, also on phone, Tereza confirmed the two families had made them to reach an agreement but did not reveal much as she said she was also driving to Nakuru to check on some business and also take one of their children to a doctor.

Wanjiru was on Thursday charged with threatening to kill the wife and also assaulting their house help and wounding a security guard, Mr William Masinde.

He also faced another charge of being in possession of a firearm believed to have been acquired illegally.

He denied the charges in a Nyahururu court and was released on a bond of Sh300,000, with a similar surety.

The offences were allegedly committed on Wednesday at his Muthaiga Estate home in Nyahururu Town.

The firearm has been forwarded to ballistics experts for analysis to determine whether or not it has been used to commit other offences.

Senior resident magistrate Alice Mong’are has set March 14 as the hearing date for the case with a mention on January 9, 2011

Rosy career

Wanjiru, who has had a rosy career in athletics, is represented by lawyer Ndegwa Wahome of Nyahururu. The runner claims he has been framed.

Apart from winning Kenya first Olympic marathon gold in Beijing, China in 2008, he has held the world half marathon record before it was broken by Eritrean Zersenay Tadese.

He has also won London Marathon once and Chicago Marathon twice in addition being declared the winner of marathon majors two years in a row. The winner of the marathon majors normally picked millions of shillings prize money.

His arrest and appearance in court attracted a lot of attention both locally and internationally with many foreign media calling to get more details of the matter.

Meanwhile, police in Nyahururu have impounded a locked safe found in Mr Wanjiru’s house.

Nyandarua Divisional Police Commander Mr Jasper Ombati said the Aiko brand safe was being kept in an armoury at Nyahururu Police Station awaiting availing of keys to the safe after Mr Wanjiru claimed the same were in his Nairobi home.

“We want him to open the safe to enable us continue with our investigations now that he is out on bond so that we can verify its contents. He (Wanjiru) said the keys were not available and that is why we took it away and will only return it after we have inspected its contents,” he said.

Additional Reporting By James Kariuki