Former Nyeri Governor Wahome Gakuru was a ‘never say die’ kind of man, his widow Catherine Wahome has said.

“He would never lose hope. Even during our courtship, he never lost hope until I found myself in the ‘box’. I have never known him as a politician for the close to 30 years I have known him,”

Gakuru, 51, died after a grisly road accident last Tuesday near Kabati on the Thika-Murang’a highway. He died at Thika Level 5 Hospital as medics prepared to airlift him to Nairobi.

Catherine, a Human Resource consultant, met Gakuru in 1991 when both were pursuing an MBA at the University of Nairobi. She had been sponsored from Kenyatta University.

“When we first met, he was not a doctor academically or a governor. I remember that time we were doing master’s, he would cook ugali with liver for me and my colleagues,” Catherine said.

“We used to call it ugali of liver. I would actually beat him in exams.”

She spoke during a memorial service on Tuesday at the Dedan Kimathi University of Technology auditorium in Nyeri.

Catherine said Gakuru did not tolerate mediocrity, and was diligent, focused and intelligent.

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The couple had three sons.

Gakuru will be buried at his Kirichu home on Saturday.

Catherine said Gakuru’s vision for Nyeri will not be buried with him, but will be realised.

“I can only liken my husband to a scholar who was given eight hours to cut down a tree but the scholar said that six hours would be used to sharpen his axe,” she said.

“Gakuru had sharpened the axe and so it is for the leaders left to continue the work since he was only a custodian of the county.”

One of Gakuru’s son is sitting the ongoing KCSE exam.

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