Ruto, fans body, mourn football fanatic Juma
Deputy President William Ruto and the Kenya Football Fans Federation (KEFOFA) have led Kenyans in mourning popular Harambee Stars fan Isaac Juma.
A renowned AFC Leopards fan who also was a constant presence in the stadium during the national football team (Harambee Stars) assignments, Juma was, according to the Police and his family, brutally murdered by unknown people at his rural home in Bukaya village, Mumias, in Kakamega county, on Wednesday night.
Police say they are investigating the incident.
“He was a friendly, ever jovial and passionate soccer supporter. Our thoughts are with the family and soccer fraternity during this painful time,” the DP mourned on Twitter.
Shem Okottah, KEFOFA’s Chief Executive termed Juma’s loss as a ‘tough pill to swallow’.
He said: “He was a reliable team member in our group who worked with passion to support his compatriots on the football pitch. He would travel from Nakuru to Nairobi just to watch Harambee Stars play and was very sad whenever the national football team lost a match. We will miss him so much and hope that his family finds justice.”
And Musalia Mudavadi, a seasoned politician and AFC Leopards patron, added. “I am saddened by his death. He was an ever-present face on the terraces working up fans and his energy was a motivation to the boys on the pitch. May his family and friends find peace.”
“A true legend and an inspiration to so many in the game. His passion as a 12th man was unmatched,” added Siaya Senator James Orengo.
Football administrators Twaha Mbarak and Milton Nyakundi also mourned Juma.
Twaha said: “The deceased is among very few people who meant well, and brought colour to the beautiful game. His record in developing football in the country is unmatched. I will miss him.”
Nyakundi added: “I call on the government through the criminal justice system institutions, especially the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to hasten their investigations into the brutal murder of Juma and bring the curlprits to book.”
Remembered for painting his bare chested body and shaving his hair to resemble AFC Leopards and Harambee Stars colours, Juma is said to have met his death when machete wielding men cut him several times on the head leaving him dead.
“The family was in the house at around 11pm, they head sheep bleating from the animals den. 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,” said Mumias West Sub-County Police Commander Stephen Muoni.
Juma worked as a newspaper vendor in Nakuru for much of his youthful life.
In November 2021, he earned the Kenya Premier League chairman’s lifetime achievement award for his contribution to developing the local football league. The award comes with a Sh100,000 cash prize.