|Western leaders led by Eugene Wamalwa (left), Kenneth Lusaka (centre) and Musikari Kombo (right) at the scene where lawyer Peter Wanyama met his death in Bungoma, yesterday. [PHOTOS: BENJAMIN SAKWA/STANDARD]
By GRACE WEKESA
A prominent Bungoma-based lawyer, representing former minister Musikari Kombo in an election petition challenging the election of Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula, has been shot dead.
Peter Wanyama Wanyonyi was killed at the entrance of his home in Sunrise estate in Kanduyi, Bungoma by unknown assailants on Monday night as he arrived from a meeting at 1.30 am.
A ruling in the petition is expected on September 30 at the Bungoma High Court.
County CID officer Peter Mabeya said the victim was shot several times in the chest and left for dead.
Police who arrived at the scene said the assailants allegedly took off in a white saloon car but they did not steal anything from the victim.
According to Mabeya, the advocate had called his wife saying he was on the way home before he was ambushed at the gate.
“Police are investigating the matter and we cannot rush to make any conclusions yet,’’ Mabeya told journalists.
The late Wanyama unsuccessfully contested this year’s elections for the Kimilili parliamentary seat. That was his third attempt.
Alfred Ndambiri, the deceased’s co-counsel, mourned the death of Wanyama, terming it shocking. He called on police to speed up investigations into the matter.
“Wanyama was the lead counsel in the case and he was conversant with all the facets of the case including the evidence, issues raised in the petition and everything pertaining our submissions. I have lost a friend, a colleague and adviser,’’ he said.
And now Ndambiri fears for his life following the incident. While confiding in The Standard in a telephone interview, he preferred the ruling of the case be made in a different town other than Bungoma.
“With the matter becoming so sensitive, anything can happen at the courts. I wish the ruling could be made elsewhere,” Ndambiri said.
A family member said the deceased had received threats and had reported the matter to the police.
Stay informed. Subscribe to our newsletter
Although he did not want to be named, the relative told The Standard that the late Wanyama had been trailed a number of times by unknown people.
Wanyama’s wife was overwhelmed with grief and could not utter a word to reporters.
Bungoma Governor Kenneth Lusaka, Muiskari Kombo, former Justice minister Eugene Wamalwa, Western PPO Alfred Ombaba and PC James ole Seriani arrived at the scene to condole with members of Wanyama family.
Lusaka condemned the incident and directed police to step in and apprehend the culprits.
“As a community, we have lost a brilliant lawyer who was full of life with sharp humour. Personally, I have lost a brother and a friend whom I shared great moments with both socially and officially, moments that were filled with so much intellect and laughter,’’ said Lusaka.
Kombo said there was a pattern of intimidation of his witnesses since the case began. He said despite making reports to the police nothing has come out of the investigations.
He expressed sorrow at the death of his lawyer who he said played an integral role in handling his petition.
“I am saddened by my lawyer’s death. The police should establish the motive of the killing,” he said.