Wambui stirred debate in 2003 when she married stonemason Peter Mbugua who was then 42 years her junior. She passed on at the Nairobi Hospital where she had been undergoing treatment, according to family members.
Officials in the Prime Minister’s office later told the media that Raila Odinga had been on his way to see her at the Nairobi Hospital when he was informed of her demise.
A statement from his office said the PM was devastated to have missed by a few minutes reaching the bedside of Wambui as she passed away.
“She was rightly one of the most renowned Kenyans, from one of Kenya’s great families, which contributed so much to make our freedom possible,” the PM said at Nairobi Hospital upon paying his last respects at the late Wambui’s bedside.
“Few women freedom fighters struggled as hard as Wambui did. And she continued the struggle for greater freedoms after independence, especially for women.”
The PM had rushed to the Nairobi Hospital at about 5pm on Tuesday to see her at the Intensive Care Unit.
“He was at the hospital gate at 5.35pm when her daughter Gladwell Otieno called to say their mother had passed away. The PM condoled with the late Wambui’s children as the body was taken from the hospital room, and at their request immediately arranged for security at her home,” the PM’s office said.
Wambui was initially married to the late prominent lawyer S.M. Otieno.