Diaspora Shattered Dreams: The Eventual Tragic Fate Of Sheila Kinuthia After A Murder Proved Beyond Reasonable Doubts In 2017


If living in the serene and close proximity to the World famous Sigona Golf Club while at the same time studying at famous schools like Kenya High, and later at the World classic University like Jaipur Rajastan in India, is not the ultimate life many would envy, then the meaning of life is an ineffable hidden narrative not yet defined.

At times, the eventual sad ending of humans is sealed by meaningless earthly monetary envy gains which are not worth to take someone’s life after a loss that one can easily recover or even entirely forget.

The well to do Kenyan lady who had eventually chased her dream to the land of plenty, one day as narrated in her trial, decided to return home, not to enjoy a trip to Maasai Maara, or to spend time with the remaining members of her family, but to cause the death of a would be husband as then alleged.

Sheila, was no ordinary three jobs struggling Kenyan lady in America, as she was a well to do business lady, who had succeeded, and excelled in a teaching career while still having dreams of completing her Phd.

Sheila Wanjiku Kibinge, AKA Sheila Kairu, or to those close to her as simply “Gachiku”, was convicted in July 2017 of the murder of Leonard Kibinge Kiruri in Gitaru village on April 14, 2014, and later sentenced to death by hanging, in 2017 according to records at the High Court in Kenya.

A real sad end but all the same, those who knew her, can testify that the parents were not to blame for any shortcoming while raising her up to justify actions that later disturb humans. They did all they could to educate the entire family by taking them to good schools, and  eventually to America, but all later returned home, as they still loved to continue enjoying the once good life they led.

Unlike her siblings, Sheila was left behind as she had, managed to establish herself in America and to finally successfully own a unique elementary school at Maplewood, NJ.

Sheila Wanjiku Kibinge, held certificates for elementary education, physical science and as a supervisor in New Jersey, she was certified and registered by the State Board.

She lived in Maplewood, NJ but one day, foolishly planned a murder that she tried during her arrest and eventual trial to introduce a carjacking theory, that did not amuse, or in any way, convince the then tough Nairobi High Court trial judge, Jessy Lessit, who eventually convicted, and sentenced her to death.

The sentencing, had no direct evidence or weapon recovered, to link Sheila to the crime, but circumstantial evidence, and many illogical contradictions in her accounts, led to her conviction. High Court Judge, Jessie Lessit rejected Sheila’s defense to the effect that her would be husband, was killed by kidnappers.

She was also not spared by the NJ State Board for after the conviction, her License was promptly cancelled on Sept 15, of the same year.  

Sheila as you may assume, was no ordinary Kenyan basing on the lifestyle the family led, for she grew up in secluded white huge mansions, located in the unpolluted Sigona farms. Living extremely good life where bread and butter not to mention sausages from nearby Uplands bacon factory, could never miss in their kitchen fridge, on any given day.

Their caring father, the late Mzee Kinuthia, had worked so hard, to further acquire and develop the fateful land in Mtwapwa or the property that made the life of one, Leonard Kibinge who apparently was a close family friend, to meet his fateful end that day when three shots, were fired at close range.

Though told late, this story of Sheila, was revisited to alert many in the Diaspora, to be extra careful while dealing with land issues in Kenya, for they have led many to untold suffering including death.

Most of the cases, are not even by strangers, but struggling relatives who can cheat with entrusted funds, and the same end in rivalry. There are still elusive agents, that remain on the run forever after cheating people in the Diaspora, but family disputes, and close acquaintances, lead the pack.

The case of Sheila was a complicated one for it seems that there still was a love triangle affair in the mix, as she was applying a green card for the deceased, and chances of the same being crimes of passion, cannot entirely be ruled out.

The last time Kenya hanged those convicted of serious crimes against humanity like murder, and robbery with violence, was in 1987 and today, there are currently thousands of people waiting to be hanged.

Those who can concur with our statement as narrated by Karuga Wandai who happened to be at Kamiti Maximum prison then, vividly recalls the serving of chicken when someone is hanged and with that fact, we can confidently say that the last decent chicken meal served at Kamiti maximum prison, or elsewhere, where such people are incarcerated, was in 1987.

In December 2017, the Supreme Court of Kenya declared the mandatory death penalty unconstitutiona,l and thereafter, the Government, then set up a task-force to review the Mandatory Death Sentence. That landmark decision, put to an end several years of uncertainties, and it constituted an additional step towards the abolition of death penalty in Kenya.

If the same will be abolished, then Sheila and others on the waiting list, will be spared and their sentences, most likely will be reverted to life in prison, or better still, eligible for parole, to those with changed behavior.

All the same, death or no death, it’s the end of one’s life, as the agony, and the anxiety that can result while living a life behind a maximum security prison, with no liberty to enjoy the sun any time you feel like, is death in itself.

We do hope that the case of Sheila, has opened the minds of many in the Diaspora not to take the law into their hands when a dispute arises, but instead, to use lawful means to get justice.

If only Sheila had sued Kibinge to recover the alleged money from the sale of the said property, she would still be living with her family in New Jersey. The same would have been solved using the same amount of money, she spent to travel home. At times however, it can be extremely hard to control emotions and as such, we can only say “bad luck” to the soft spoken Sheila, many would never have imagined that she was capable of doing what the learned judge and the prosecution, proved beyond reasonable doubts.

As for now, let us wait for the outcome of the task force, to see if those convicted with major crimes, can reform, and once again, be law abiding citizens, and if not, meet their early death, and thereafter, wait for the real final judgment from the creator of heaven and earth.

Arch. Dr. Isaac Kinungi


Kenyan Parents in USA

Global President

Diaspora National Assembly for 254.

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