Locals throng Mumias Sports Complex to view Juma's body

Mourners at Isaac Juma's funeral in Mumias West constituency on February 11, 2022. [Benard Lusigi, Standard]

Residents of Mumias thronged Mumias Sports Complex grounds today to view the body of Harambee Stars and AFC Leopards fan Isaac Juma. 

The body which was being preserved at Butere Level Four Hospital was moved in a convoy of vehicles some 20 kilometres to the grounds.

Juma was hacked to death last month by two assailants at his family home in Rukaya village, Mumias. He will be buried tomorrow.

Some fans were overwhelmed with emotions and wept uncontrollably as others mimicked the antics the Juma was known for causing light moments.

“I am here as an AFC fan and an admirer of Isaac Juma. I have travelled from Kakamega town with a group of Ingwe Kakamega Branch to come see our departed loyalist,” said Owen Musoma, AFC Kakamega Branch chairman.

“We regret how he was butchered and at the poor state of his home. He has children who need to be educated and we hear the expense of his funeral budget is not fully catered for.”

His family led by Burial Committee Chairman Zebio Kweyio had presented a funeral budget of Sh1 million to the County Government of Kakamega but were turned back and asked to review it downward.

Kweyio said the county government gave Sh390,000 to cater for the funeral.

Funds not enough

The money, he said, was not enough for Saturday's event, urging well-wishers to come on board and help.

“People stopped contributing after they heard that the county government was in charge of burial expenses and yet we had a budget of Sh1 million, therefore, the available money is not enough. That is why it was impossible to transport Juma’s body to Bukhungu stadium for public viewing,” said Kweyio.

Earlier this week, during a meeting with Juma’s family and burial committee, Governor Wycliffe Oparanya promised to foot the funeral expenses and school fees bill of Juma’s three children who are in secondary school.

Musoma called on the county to name a street in Kakamega after the die-hard fan in his honour.

“I feel it is not too much to ask that a street, especially the ones leading to Kakamega’s Bukhungu Stadium should be named after Juma,” he said.

Collins Lumumba, Juma’s friend, said it was sad to lose such a true patriotic Kenyan who supported local football through entertainment in a cruel manner.

 “We demand nothing less than justice, let the killers be brought to book, but we are here to accord our legend an honourable send-off and show Kenyans and the world how important football fans mean to sports,” said Lumumba.

Lumumba called upon well-wishers and stakeholders to assist the family.

“To be honest our government neglected Juma and so our local football clubs in general because he was known for bringing excitement to our stadium, it is not too late they should come on board and help,” said Lumumba.

Peter Okusimba, who has known Juma since the early 1990s, said he used to paint his departed friend with special clay in Nakuru before attending matches.

“I have travelled from Nakuru to give my friend his last respects. I can’t believe he is gone... he liked being painted with colours of the national flag and I used to paint him even for free because you could see the talent and passion in him. I will miss him,” said Okusimba.