|Ezekiel Kituyi with his wife, Roselyne Muhonja. [Photo: Benjamin Sakwa/Standard]|
By Francis Ontomwa
Then the tears dried up as Muhonja and other family members went on with their lives while Kituyi served time, in addition to the five years he had already spent in remand awaiting judgement.
Ten years later, the tears sprung up again; but this time they were tears of joy as Kituyi walked out of Kakamega’s Shikusa Prison to freedom after completing his jail term.
“This is a turn-around in my life, I never believed that this day will ever come, surely God has been faithful to me,” said Kituyi, 36, from Ingolomosio village, Shinyalu Constituency, Kakamega County.
Friends and faithful of the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) turned out to welcome their beloved son back to the society with song and dance, receiving him from the rehabilitation centre where Kituyi was officially handed over by prison officers.
“Kituyi is like a hero today because he is a true testament that indeed people can change. In prison, we used to call him pastor and was a trustee, a high rank among prisoners,” said Japheth Onchiri, officer-in-charge of the facility who presided over the exit of the former prisoner.
Onchiri said he was confident that Kituyi was a respectable citizen and appealed to residents to accept him back.
The prison authorities gave Kituyi a sewing machine after training as a tailor in prison to help him start a new life.
It was early 2002 when Kituyi was working in Lugari as a plumber for a businesswoman that trouble found him. According to Kituyi, the employer refused to pay him and when he pressed for his dues, she claimed he had defiled a minor.
“That is how my life turned upside down. I fell in the hands of the law and was jailed because I didn’t have money to hire a lawyer,” he says.