Had newscaster Jacque Maribe not been in a cell, and had the murder of Monica Kimani not have plunged her into trouble with authorities, the journalist could be preparing to pop up on TV screens later today.
If this was an ordinary Friday for her, she would have headed to her workplace along Dennis Pritt Road, her station for more than five years, preparing to read the prime time news this evening.
Colleagues say that at her workplace, Ms Maribe is not the person who crosses people’s paths. A senior figure at Citizen TV did not wish to discuss much about her when contacted.
“She is just a good person,” said the colleague. “She is a good, easy going person who has no pressure; who knows what she is supposed to do.”
Another reporter, who has been with Ms Maribe at the political desk at the station for some time, said she is a woman who has a “very good relationship with everyone in the newsroom”.
But there are fellow journalists who believe Ms Maribe’s involvement in covering Jubilee Party campaigns may have placed her on a bumpy course.
A former television reporter said the campaigns for the 2017 General Election created a detour for Ms Maribe’s life, and her public persona as the journalist covering President Uhuru Kenyatta’s functions brought a mixed bag of goodies.
One symptom of this, the ex-reporter said, is the frequenting of entertainment joints patronised by moneyed city dwellers, among them B-Club in Nairobi’s Kilimani.
But one close colleague of hers disputed the claim that Ms Maribe changed due to the campaigns, noting that she had covered even the 2013 rallies and come out focused.
“She was put there because she had more experience in covering political campaigns,” the colleague said.
On her Instagram account are snapshots of a bubbly mother of one who is proud of her moments at work and outside. In between the photos of her, taken in various areas and with various personalities, she has been uploading quotes on various realities of life.
One quote reads: “To win a moral victory at the expense of your sanity is dumb.”
Another says: “Having a soft heart in a cruel world is courage, not weakness.”
That the world is cruel is a fact one of her colleagues pointed out, else there would not be the many “baseless” rumours being posted about her. Time will tell how her courage will measure up against the twists and turns of the case.
Ms Maribe is in custody at the Gigiri Police Station following orders issued on Monday by Kiambu Principal Magistrate Justus Kituku. Police treat her as a suspect regarding the September 19 murder of 28-year-old Monica Kimani.
Detectives suspect there is a criminal motive in Ms Maribe’s actions with and around Joseph “Jowie” Irungu, her fiancé who is also the main suspect in Ms Kimani’s murder.
Mr Irungu proposed to Ms Maribe in June and photos of the moment lit up the social media. Before then, she had been rumoured to be in a relationship with Dennis Itumbi, a key communications figure in the Uhuru-Ruto government.
“A great person; a friend who sacrifices all for friends,” said Itumbi. Body language experts may not have much material to gauge what was going on in her mind as she relayed the news as she wore the signature coy face and steely pose that news anchors are known to strike.
Ms Maribe worked at two TV stations before joining Royal Media Services. Last year, she received a Head of State Commendation from the President.