Former VP Wamalwa’s widow Yvonne to be buried today
She was not known much before her husband Kijana Wamalwa became Kenya’s eighth Vice-President after National Rainbow Coalition won the 2002 presidential election.
And Mrs Yvonne Nambia Wamalwa would disappear from the limelight for 15 years after her husband died just over eight months upon assuming the second most powerful office in the country.
She was 34 when she walked down the aisle to say “I do” to one of Kenya’s popular orators, Mr Wamalwa, who was then 58. The wedding took place under six months after Narc took over power in a peaceful election that saw the ouster of Kanu.
Following the triumphant elections in 2002, Mr Mwai Kibaki was sworn in as President on December 30 and he immediately appointed Mr Wamalwa as his vice-president as per an agreement they had earlier entered into.
It was not until months later that Mrs Wamalwa would be known by Kenyans. Their relationship had been kept under wraps for some time and it was not until the wedding day that their union became public. Their colourful wedding in Nairobi was attended by top government officials among them Mr Kibaki and Nasa leader Raila Odinga.
But death would deny the lovebirds a moment to savour their ordained union as the VP died soon after. Mr Wamalwa died on August 23, 2003, not only leaving the stage when he had just liberated the country from the difficult Kanu regime years but also abandoning a young wife who had to solely deal with the weight of the fame that came with the popular VP.
Mrs Wamalwa would for the next 15 years struggle to keep her family together as it did not take long before her step-children accused her of mismanaging the fortunes left by their father.
The children took her to court, accusing her of failing to account for Sh3 million that was said to have been in Mr Wamalwa’s briefcase when he died in London.
They also wanted her to explain how she spent Sh36 million she received from the parliamentary pension scheme following Mr Wamalwa’s death. The widow was also embroiled in a tussle with the children over the administration of hundreds of acres of land in Kitale.
Despite troubles at home, she found solace in the government as she was appointed to various diplomatic posts in and outside the country.
She will be buried on Saturday next to her husband at Milimani estate in Kitale.
Her body was flown to Kitale in a Kenya Airforce chopper on Friday after Thursday’s requiem mass at the Consolata Shrine in Nairobi.
Mrs Wamalwa sired a child, Michelle Wamalwa, with the late VP.
Earlier this week, Trans Nzoia leaders had said she should be given a State burial similar to the one accorded former First Lady Lucy Kibaki.
County woman representative Janet Nangabo said Mrs Wamalwa deserved an honourable send-off.
“I appeal to the national government to stand with this family during this time since we understand the late Nambia was part of this government,” she said.