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Police to work with marathon star’s wife Njeri on burial plans

Tuesday May 17 2011

By Nation Correspondents

Police on Tuesday insisted Ms Teresia Njeri is the lawfully recognised wife of fallen world renowned marathon champion Samuel Kamau Wanjiru.

This follows an incident where a convoy ferrying Wanjiru’s body from Nyahururu District Hospital mortuary to Nairobi was stopped by police after Ms Njeri was “deliberately” abandoned at the morgue by relatives who appeared to favour the other “widows”.

Nyandarua deputy police boss Jacob Kanake said he intervened and told the security escort assigned to the family to go back and pick up Ms Njeri, who was left weeping outside the mortuary.

He said the department would be involved in the burial arrangements through the first wife, and all communication done through her.

Wanjiru was a police corporal. He is among athletes who joined the force because of their sporting prowess.

Mr Kanake made the comments a day after 22-year-old former Africa 5,000 metres champion Mary Wacera, also a police officer and a Nakuru-based woman, Judy Wambui, 25, came forward claiming to be the athlete’s wives.

At the same time, Wanjiru’s family seems to be in the dark over his multi-million fortune strewn across the country and abroad.

He is believed to have invested in real estate, motor vehicles, stocks in various blue chip companies, farms and had cash in bank accounts.

Of note is a safe collected by police from his home on December 31, said to contain travellers’ cheques, money in local and foreign currency worth millions.

The safe was released by police in the presence of a lawyer after it was opened and confirmed it did not contain a gun as suspected.

“The cheques can only be cashed at the Central Bank and hence are very safe. We also know his European manager has a lot of money he holds in trust and these wrangles being witnessed at home will not auger well for the family," said a police source, who did not want to be named.

Other sources at Nyahururu Police Station also indicated that people who went to Wanjiru’s house to answer a distress call after the athlete’s fatal fall also took away all personal documents in his possession.

Safe-keeping

But other sources said the athlete could have handed over his documents to a lawyer for safe-keeping when he was arrested and charged before a Nyahururu court last December.

There was near-confrontation between Ms Njeri and one of her husband’s relatives at the Nyahururu Police Station on Monday over the whereabouts of the documents.

Mr Kanake also said a bartender at a popular Nyahururu restaurant, Jane Nduta, who was found with Wanjiru on the ill-fated day, was freed without charge and given security to return to her home.

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