What you need to know:
- It turns out that for a long time, Juma received threats from his relatives to leave the place he called home.
- He did not take the threats lightly, and in November 2021, he reported the matter to Etenje police post.
He was jovial and would do a sophisticated jig as he supported his favourite football teams in nearly all the major stadia in the country, to the amazement of other fans across the country.
He carried the Kenyan flag high when supporting Harambee Stars, painted in the national team colours from head to toe to show love for his country. The other team he supported was AFC Leopards.
However, beneath the broad smile of the slim bald-headed soccer enthusiast Isaac Juma, was a troubled man. Despite knocking on the doors of various government agencies for help, he received none.
He then chose to tell the world his life was in danger, amplifying the message through painting his body, and carrying placards to football matches, hoping he would get help. No one listened.
He was so desperate that he even carried them to political rallies, the latest being the Cleophas Malala Tournament on December 31, which was also attended by Deputy President William Ruto.
One of the small boards he kept on carrying said “My land is not for sale, fight Corona not me”. After his death, his relatives carried some of the boards he had been keeping in his house. One read “My life is in danger” written partly in red.
On another placard said “The government, protect me, keep distance”.
And now his death has shone a light on his tribulations.
Threats from relatives
It turns out that for a long time, Juma received threats from his relatives to leave the place he called home.
The football super fan did not take the threats lightly, and in November 2021, he reported the matter to Etenje police post, with hopes that the security agencies would protect him.
No action was taken by the police and on January 27, 2022, Juma was hacked to death by people his family members revealed were his close relatives, at his home in Ebuyenjere village, Bukaya sub-location in Mumias, Kakamega County.
The assailants sneaked into the sheep pen in Juma’s compound, causing a commotion that was heard by the family that night.
Juma and his 17-year-old son got out of the house to find out what was happening, but the assailants pounced on him, hacking him with machetes that left deep cuts on his ear, neck and shoulder. They left him lying dead in front of his house.
The assailants were later identified, however, only one person was arrested – Juma’s nephew. The man, who was identified by the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) as Milton Namatsi, was reportedly among the people who threatened Juma with death.
And now Juma’s family claims the suspected killers continue to threaten them with dire consequences if they do not move out of the home.
Juma’s first wife, Ms Christine Indimuli, said the relatives started threatening the family in 2010, claiming that Juma was not a legitimate son in the home and should move out of the family’s three acres.
Ms Indimuli said the relatives are so daring that they walk into the home to order them to move out. At other times, they send chilling messages.
“I don’t understand why police and the chief failed to listen to him and accord him necessary security, until he was killed. They (relatives) are now threatening us and despite reporting the matter to the police on Monday, no action has been taken. We are living in fear that they could attack and kill us,” said Ms Indimuli.
The threats pushed her to leave her home for her own safety, and in 2017 she moved to Mombasa where she has been a domestic worker.
“I sincerely appeal to the security officers to listen to us and not ignore us like they did to my husband, leading to his death. This matter is very serious,” she pleaded.
Mumias West Sub-County Police Commander Stephen Muoni confirmed reports of threats against Juma’s family had been received and police were currently investigating the matter.
“We are aware of the threats and we are in the process of investigating the complaints and proper action will be taken accordingly. We cannot receive a report and start making arrests,” said Mr Muoni.
The police boss appealed to the warring families to remain patient, saying security agents in Mumias were investigating the matter.
“We held a sub-county security meeting at Bukaya because of the sensitivity of this matter and we ask everyone to observe the law. All players are coming up with allegations and we cannot wish any of them away,” he said.
The police are also not providing security for the family despite the tense situation at the home, where burial plans for Juma are under way.
The family lives in constant fear, praying that they do not suffer the same fate as their patriarch.