Corporal Gaudencia Wausi Muinde shot herself dead Wednesday morning at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport where she was attached.
Her body was found on the toilet seat leaning to the left side while in uniform at about 7am. Her official Jericho pistol was in her hand. The body of the officer, a mother of one, was taken to City Mortuary.
Ms Wausi had left behind a chilling message Tuesday night lamenting how unnamed persons were “planning evil against her”.
“Life is so difficult when you live in a world where everybody is planning evil against you and what happens when you can’t hold it anymore and no more strength to support the few people who love and cherish you, you are left with no other option other than…. so help me God,” she wrote on Facebook Wednesday morning.
Colleagues at work, friends, family and online users were left wondering what provoked the former GSU officer to take her own life. Many speculated that it was stress at work.
As vague as the reason was, it now emerges that the “stress at work” was as a result of harassment by one of her seniors, says Gaudencia’s close friend who spoke exclusively to eDaily in confidence for security reasons.
The source recounts his close friendship, last conversations with Gaudencia.
“I met Ms Wausi in 2008. Since then, she became a close friend. She did not keep anything secret from me, regardless of how personal the issue was.
“She was very lively and did not have any anger control problems. She would crack jokes often. I don’t even know what went over her head to take her own life.
“Last week Friday she called me and requested that I print her certain words on a shirt. She’d seen a photo I had posted on Facebook showing me donned in a tee shirt that had words of a popular Kenyan phrase written on it, and she got interested in acquiring a similar wear.
“I asked a friend of mine who prints tee shirts to make one for Ms Wausi. On Tuesday, she called me to inquire if the shirt was ready. I told her yes. She said she would pick it from me that evening. However, I was on duty that day, but I asked my friend to take the shirt to her in town (Nairobi CBD) where they’d meet.
“Wausi interpreted my statement for being a snob. She thus told me: unanilenga kwa sababu sijalipa (You must be avoiding me because I haven’t paid for the shirt). I responded, telling her she did not have to pay for it as it was a gift from me. In the course of that conversation she asked why I had kept away from her for long. We used to have drinks in Kiserian and Ongata Rongai over the weekends.
“There was a time last week she sent me a message lamenting how she had a lot of stress. I asked her what was up, but she said: “ni story ndefu, yafaa tukutane nikuambie (It is a long story. We should hook up so that I tell you everything). I told her: ‘you have never hidden anything from me. So tell me what’s up.”
“After a long pause she said: ‘There is a male boss of mine who is frustrating me. He told me to work on a double shift (day and night) henceforth.’
“She later confided in me that the man had made sexual advances at her but she rejected him. So the man could not stomach being turned down. Even worse, Wausi said that in the past few months her salary had not been credited to her bank account. I could not independently verify her claims.”
“I urged her to consider resigning if the environment at her workplace had become tepid. Or if she could not leave her job, she reports the boss to his superiors.
“On Tuesday night I saw her chilling Facebook post. I called her mobile phone immediately and asked why she posted the disturbing message which insinuated she was going to kill herself. She told me that she was going to kill herself for the same reasons (sexual harassment at work and unpaid dues), saying it was ‘haunting’ her.
“I asked her to delete the post. She heeded and vowed not to take her life. Wausi’s confidante narrated the response he got from her. Kaka niko kwa shida kazini (brother I am troubled at work).’ Once again I urged her to resign and look for another job. She said that her academic qualifications were not too impressive and getting another job would be difficult.
“I counseled her. She calmed down, but repeated the words: ‘Niko na stress sana (I have a lot of stress)!’ I told her I would meet her the following morning (Wednesday, August 24) at her place in Embakasi before I proceed to work. On Wednesday, my friend Obadiah Mulinge who works at JKIA called me on phone with a shaky voice saying: ‘unajua beshte yako amejiua (Do you know that your friend has committed suicide)?
“I was shocked! I called Wausi’s phone immediately. It went unanswered. I asked Obadiah: ‘Are you sure Wausi is dead?’ He told me: ‘Sadly, yes. As I am talking to you, I am standing next to her lifeless body.’
“She hadn’t called me that morning as we’d planned. Her death saddens me,” he said. This writer noticed the indignation in his voice and the tears dancing in his eyes.
He perhaps would have saved his friend had he called her that morning. He did not. The price of such a sudden death is heavy on him as he tearfully explained: “Wausi has left behind a 4-year-old son.”
Their friendship goes back in time. “I knew Wausi through a friend called Stanley Kizome in 2008. She had not even joined the police force at the time. After we got used to each other, she revealed she wanted to serve in the police force. I joked, asking her: ‘utatoboa kweli (Will you really manage)? She said yes. And I encouraged, supported her.”
“After she killed herself, a female best friend of hers – who was also from her community– called me on phone asking: ‘Nini iliingia Caude (Caude was a corruption of Wausi’s Christian name, Gaudencia)
“Caude was very cheerful. Actually, for the eight years of our friendship, I saw her get worked up only once – when a mutual friend named Eric asked her what happened between her and her baby-daddy. She got furious and responded almost immediately: ‘Eric usiwahi sema jina ya huyo mtu (baby daddy) mahali niko, tutakuja kukosana (Eric, never mention that man’s name in my presence. If you do, you won’t like the outcome).
“It seems she was not in good terms with her baby daddy. She was not married – and by the time she passed on, she did not have a boyfriend that I was aware of.”
Kenya Airport Police Unit Deputy Commandant Rono Bunei said they were shocked by the death and investigations had been launched.