Sports

How Kenya’s Top Football Fan Isaac Juma Was Murdered

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On Wednesday January 26 night, colourful Harambee Stars fan Isaac Juma had gone to bed with the rest of his family in Bukaya village, Mumias West Sub-county, after the day’s activities.

But he was woken up by a commotion in an enclosure for his sheep in the compound at about 11pm.

Juma heard one of his sheep bleating repeatedly, signalling there was trouble. He quickly alerted his brother and son to accompany him to the kraal and find out what was happening.

He was using his mobile phone to light up his surrounding as he made his way to the door to investigate what was happening. But he was blinded by the blow of a machete from one of his attackers, who viciously slashed him on the head and neck.

The attacker slashed him several times, inflicting deep injuries on his head, neck and other parts of the body.

The man Kenyans had celebrated as the leading Harambee Stars football fan lay sprawled on the floor in a pool of blood as his attackers fled into the dark.

His brother and son escaped unharmed.

Juma’s home is in the midst of a thicket, a short distance from Ebuyenjera primary school.

A relative told the Nation that Juma had travelled home from Nakuru to resolve a land dispute. He had been at home for two weeks, trying to resolve the matter.

Villagers trooped to the home to mourn his death and discussed in hushed tones about what had happened.

Augustine Ochieng’, his elder brother, said he heard screams and rushed towards Juma’s compound.

“I stay a short distance away from my brother’s compound and when I heard the screams, I rushed to find out what had happened,” said Ochieng’.

He found Juma sprawled on the ground, lifeless. He had bled profusely from the cuts on his body.

“I contacted the police, who arrived at the scene and collected the body and took it to the St Mary Hospital mortuary in Mumias.”

The killing of Juma, a man who danced and cheered the national team, has sent Bukaya village in shock and disbelief.

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It’s ordinarily a quite village with little activity but the Wednesday night murder has residents struggling to come to terms with the incident.

His killing has been linked to a family feud over ownership of a parcel of land. Detectives on Thursday 27 arrested a relative and were going on with investigations.

Mumias West Sub-county police commander Stephen Muoni said Juma died on the spot.

“The family was in the house when at around 11pm, they heard sheep bleating. He alerted his brother and son and when he went out, he was met with a panga wielding gang that attacked and killed him on the spot,” he said. 

“The motive of these people was not to steal livestock but to kill. We have launched investigations into the matter and we shall leave no stone unturned until we catch up with them.”

Juma has been a passionate football fan, religiously supporting Harambee Stars and AFC Leopards for several decades.

He used to perform captivating gyrations at stadiums and other sporting activities. Besides his love for football, he was a newspaper vendor in Nakuru town where he lived alone.

His is survived by two wives, Christina and Faridah, with 10 children.

In November last year, he earned the Kenya Premier League Chairman’s lifetime achievement award which earned him Sh100,000.

Christina said her husband was the family’s breadwinner and relatives looked up to him for support.

“I don’t understand why someone had to kill my husband who has been relating well with everyone in the village. It is great pain and a big loss not only for us but the entire village and Kenya,” she added.


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