On the morning of 1 August 1982 when rebels from the Kenya Air Force attempted to overthrow the government the city of Nairobi was in utter chaos. With shops looted and general mayhem reigning supreme in the city, it was the duty of the disciplined forces to restore law and order.
Only the brave dared to venture into the lawless city and try to bring back some semblance of normalcy. One such officer was Clementine Esther Wanjiku Kamunyi who was serving as a police officer.
Without hesitating to worry about her own safety or that of her family, Clementine was on the streets patrolling, answering to the police motto of ‘Utumishi kwa Wote’ (Service to All). Her colleagues in the Police Service, peers , senior and junior officers attest to her diligence, dignified humanity and deep respect for all, irrespective of rank.
Clementine who passed on 26 July 2019 was born on 16 December 1949 at Huho-ini Location, Tetu Sub-County, Nyeri County. She was the 8th child of the late Isaac Wahome Mucunu and the late Hannah Watheri Wahome. She was sister to late Joseph Ndung’u, Reuben Mureithi, late Beatrice Wairimu Migongo, Eunice Gathoni Rufus, late Wothaya Wahome, and late Alice Mwihaki, Peter Githiri, Eliud Mathu and Shadrack Wang’ombe.
Clementine or ‘Tines’ to her close friends was joined Huho-ini Primary School in Tetu Sub County, Nyeri County and later transferred to St. John’s Primary School, Karunga, Nakuru County, where she sat for her Certificate of Primary Education (CPE). She then joined Form One at Menengai Secondary School, Nakuru County and later transferred to Kapkenda Girls High School, Elgeyo Marakwet County, where she sat for her O Levels in 1968.
Having performed well in her O level examinations, Clementine joined Kiganjo Police College on 11th July 1969 as a direct entry Cadet Inspector. She served in the Police Force in various capacities and units ranging from the Traffic Department where she was instrumental in formulating certain laws within the Traffic Act , Kiganjo Police College as an Instructor within both the Junior Training Wing and the Senior Training Wing , the Kenya Airport Police Unit and Vigilance House among other deployments , until her retirement in 2004 as an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) .
For her diligence, hard work and a heart to serve, she was awarded the Head of State Commendation (HSC).
Her love for police work would also lead her to the love of her life the Late Augustine Kamunyi Gacheru in 1969, whom she met while both of them were at the Kiganjo Police College . They got married in 1971 and were blessed with four children: George Njiru, Anthony Wahome, Jacqueline Kamau and John Mark Ndung’u.
Clementine leaves behind 10 grandchildren: Michelle, Margaret, Maya, Jonathan, Hadassah, Shemuel, Ryan, Nathan, Jason and Tamupiwa.
All those who met Clementine would not have left without experiencing her deep faith and commitment to God. She was brought up in a Christian family, was baptized and confirmed. She was a full member of PCEA St. Andrews Church and a member of the Woman’s Guild. She served as Chairperson of the Security Committee of the church and in Single Christian Parents Fellowship. As a Member of the Woman’s Guild, Clementine was dedicated in 2003 and she received her Woman’s Guild badge in 2015.
Clementine started exhibiting health difficulties early this year, and on 14 July 2019 she was admitted for treatment at Aga Khan University Hospital. She was diagnosed with Pneumonia and TB, and due to complications arising, rested on 26 July 2019 with her family present. In God hands you rest, in our hearts you remain forever.