The Sunday Nation has established that British intelligence officers used some of the affidavits sworn in court during the divorce hearing to piece together bits of one of the most brazen cases of corruption during President Moi's 24 years in office.
Sources familiar with the proceedings said Mr Gichuru may have won the divorce case, but his former wife, Salome Njeri, now deceased, dealt him a severe blow by lifting the lid on some of his best-kept secrets and questionable financial dealings.
In a certificate of urgency seeking an equal share of the matrimonial property filed in the Family Court in Nairobi on November 14, 2006, Njeri claimed Mr Gichuru controlled a multi-million-dollar estate, and that he was worth more than what was stated publicly.
She claimed that Mr Gichuru was operating foreign accounts, that some of the property had been acquired illegally and that he was planning to disinherit her by disposing her of the property and transferring some of it to his girlfriend.
Petitioned for divorce
"... during my marriage to the respondent, the respondent used to operate various bank accounts both locally and internationally and used to update me on our financial worth and investments," she said, adding, "since the respondent has petitioned for divorce he has started to alienate, sale or transfer the matrimonial properties to the name of his girlfriend with the sole aim of disentitling me and cheating me of my rightful share of the matrimonial properties."
"...if this was indeed a joint account as alleged nothing would be easier than for the applicant to exhibit bank statements or some other such evidence of the existence of the account or the amount held in the account," he responded in an affidavit on December 19, 2006.
He also dismissed claims by Njeri in another affidavit sworn on November 22, 2006, that the sum in question and other property had been acquired through illegal means.
"Indeed, in a separate affidavit also sworn on November 22, 2006, the applicant has alleged that the money held in this account as well as other properties owned by me were improperly acquired and I am surprised that she should come to a court of law to lay a claim on what she alleges are ill gotten gains," he said.
If Mr Gichuru had been taken aback by the former wife's claims, he must have been chilled to the bone when British police sprung him a warrant of arrest for money laundering over suspicious financial dealings in Jersey Island.
It has also emerged that the money Mr Gichuru is accused of laundering is just a fraction of his vast business empire and fortune.
Friends and former associates interviewed put his worth at a conservative Sh20 billion, though others claimed he has assets in excess of Sh50 billion.
Lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi, who represented Ms Njeri in the divorce case in 2006, said she estimated their matrimonial property at between Sh70 billion and Sh100 billion.
They include land in the posh Karen area (five acres) and Mombasa Road, Dolphins Palms in Mombasa, three town houses in Kileleshwa (each worth about Sh30 million) and two flats in Hurlingham.
Other properties are in Kyuna Estate, the middle class Dam Estate in Nairobi and the high-end Spring Valley neighbourhood.
She also named tracts of agricultural land and prime plots in a number of counties, shares in top-notch companies, accounts in six top local banks and rent proceeds from houses in leafy city suburbs.
She further tabulated seven bank accounts locally and abroad and 23 companies in which she claimed Mr Gichuru had shares. These include his former parastatal KPLC, KenGen, Kenya Bus Services Ltd and Kenya Seed Company. Mr Gichuru was also said to own shares in Sasini Tea and Coffee Ltd, Yana Trading, Iberafrica Power and the prestigious Lord Errol - a restaurant in Nairobi's posh Runda suburb.
One of the overseas accounts listed in the suit papers was in Jersey in the English Channel that held $10 million (over Sh860 million) at the time.
"The properties, shares and bank accounts I disclose herein are a fraction of the properties," Ms Njeri told the court. "The properties I know and which I list in this case (are) in my humble view less than 10 per cent of what we acquired."
The teacher-turned businesswoman was married to Mr Gichuru for 39 years; they had four children. They were married on December 9, 1967 at the PCEA Dr Arthur Memorial Church in Nakuru, the same year he joined the then Central Rift County Council as an administrative officer.
He joined KPLC in 1974 as an assistant company secretary. He rose through the ranks to become managing director in 1983, lasting at the helm until February 2003.
Njeri claimed that she had contributed substantially to the family property owned either jointly or solely by the respondent.
"During my marriage to the respondent since both of us were gainfully employed we jointly contributed to buy properties either in our joint names, through companies in which we were joint shareholders, in the sole name of the respondent or through companies whose shares are solely held by the respondent .... That even though I am just seeking equal shares of the matrimonial property a careful appraisal of our incomes which was as a result of his salary and my earning initial from my employment and later through the schools I ran will show that I contributed more than the respondent," she claimed.
He said she stopped coming to their city home after three years, and would only show up for social functions like weddings of their children.
Mr Gichuru told the court that she would come as a visitor, arriving in the morning and leaving in the evening. She attended those functions as a mother and not as a wife.
He also stated that during initial periods he would visit her at the Nakuru farm to check on its activities. He specified that since around 1987 they had had no conjugal relations. According to him, her actions affected him mentally and socially.
He testified that he had to shoulder responsibilities of both parents while the children were in school. He further said that as the chief executive of KPLC he was invited to several social and official functions, but was compelled to attend those functions on his own, causing him embarrassment "on continuous basis".
He further told Justice Kalpana Rawal that Njeri denied him the emotional and social support he required to be successful. The former Mrs Gichuru had charged in her petition that her husband was in an adulterous relationship with Bilha Wanjiku Gachoki.
But Mr Gichuru denied the allegations of cruelty and adultery levelled against him. He testified that Ms Gachoki was his friend and business partner. He told the court that he did not have any adulterous relation with her or with any other woman.