Kenyan journalist recounts how former first lady Lucy Kibaki 'terrorised' media house

Nairobi - As Kenya continues to mourn the late former first lady, Lucy Kibaki, who died on Tuesday while receiving treatment in London, mixed thoughts continue to trickle in about her legacy.

Macharia Gaitho, a former managing editor for special projects at the Daily Nation, narrated how Kibaki had stormed the media house one cold night back in 2005 over a story that rubbed her up the wrong way.

Gaitho, who was sleeping at that time, had to leave her house at midnight after the first lady paid them an unexpected visit.

He was met with a fleet of Mercedes Benz limousines, and a furious Kibaki who was demanding to see the Group CEO.

Gaith, who was the editor on duty that day, managed to pull Kibaki into an office where she lashed out at the editors for running a negative story about her the previous day.

The story was about the first lady disrupting the farewell party of their neighbour at Muthaiga Estate, who also happened to be the then World Bank Country Director, Makhtar Diop.

Daily Nation reported that the late first lady wanted the two reporters who filed the story, and another who was doing a follow-up, arrested.

She grabbed the camera of a photojournalist who tried to snap the midnight raid on the media house, sending the entire crew into panic.

Another photojournalist from KTN also endured a slap after aiming his camera at her.

Gaitho had to call for intervention from State House.

That was not the first public scene she caused.

Later in 2009, she forced her husband, president Mwai Kibaki, to call a press conference and announce that he had only one wife.

This was to dispel rumours that the head of state was keeping a second wife.

"I want to make it very clear that I have only one dear wife Lucy, and I do not have any other. And anybody who knows me and knows my family and knows how I live will know that I have only one wife. And they do not expect any diversion from the reality of life by people telling lies," said Kibaki, with his fist-clenching spouse standing beside him.


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