Lawyer Paul Gicheru, who died in Nairobi on Monday, has been described as an articulate and active professional who mentored many in the legal fraternity.
Gicheru is reported to have been brought up by his parents in Nandi County, where he schooled before being admitted to the bar in 1998. Advocates Francis Murgor and Isaac Bungei, both practising in Kitale, Trans Nzoia County, were Gicheru’s classmates in Kapsabet Boys High School in Nandi between 1987 and 1990.
Mr Murgor said Gicheru joined Kapsabet after sitting his KCPE examination at Laboret Primary School in Nandi North sub-County.
“We were in the second lot of 8-4-4, and while Bungei and I were admitted in Form One West, Gicheru was admitted in East. While I was school captain, Gicheru was a house captain, managing two dormitories,” recalled Murgor who added that Gicheru was hard-working and also liked rugby.
“He was a bright student sponsored by Starehe Boys Center as an external student,” said Murgor.
Mr Bungei described Gicheru as “straight forward” and hard-working and multilingual, speaking fluent Nandi, Kiswahili and English. “At school, Gicheru was preoccupied with work, work, work and books, books, books. He was also very social and his death comes as a surprise to us.”
According to Murgor, Gicheru’s parents worked with the Ministry of Public Works and lived in a camp at Kipkaren Salient in Nandi, where they would be assigned road maintenance jobs. Gicheru reportedly relocated his parents to Bahati in Nakuru after settling in his role as an advocate. Gicheru, who was based in Eldoret before relocating to Nairobi, was a top counsel who majorly handled land and commercial matters, and also reportedly mentored many lawyers during his active practice.
He did his pupillage at Kalya and Company Advocates and would rise to become a partner in the company. He later opened his firm in the same town. Those who practised with him recalled Gicheru as a humble and brilliant lawyer who was willing to assist those who sought legal advice.
“It is unfortunate we have lost our senior counsel. I learnt of his death with shock. He was an active lawyer who practised in Eldoret and mentored us,” David Rioba Omboto told The Standard Tuesday.
Mr Omboto, a former Law Society of Kenya (LSK) chairman in North Rift, said Gicheru was active on issues affecting the society and gave his professional guidance whenever there was a need.
“As a youthful lawyer, Gicheru bonded senior and junior lawyers, hence bridging the gap and strengthening unity. He was an articulate advocate who will not only be missed in North Rift but in the country at large. We will live to remember him,” said Omboto.
He recalled that Gicheru gave him the support he required while serving as LSK chair in the region. Gicheru also represented the defunct Eldoret Municipal Council on legal issues, majorly on land matters. The advocate said Gicheru made monetary sacrifices and would fund monthly tournaments and get-together parties that nurtured good bonding among legal practitioners in the North Rift.
Zephania Yego, an Eldoret-based advocate who was also North Rift LSK branch chairman between 2015 and 2019, said Gicheru was “destined for greatness”.
“As a young lawyer then in Eldoret, Gicheru was a visionary, a go-getter with a sharp legal mind who also mentored many,” said Yego, adding that Gicheru was a humble and industrious person who was always easy to associate with.