President Kenyatta leads Kenyans in mourning Senior Counsel Nzamba Kitonga


President Kenyatta leads Kenyans in mourning Senior Counsel Nzamba Kitonga
Senior Counsel and Constitutional Expert Phillip Nzamba Kitonga. He died on Saturday, October 24, 2020. PHOTO| COURTESY

President Uhuru Kenyatta has led the nation in mourning one of Kenya’s top lawyers Phillip Nzamba Kitonga who passed away on Saturday at the age of 64 years.

The Senior Counsel and Constitutional expert is said to have collapsed while attending a funeral at his home area of Mutito in Kitui and died while being rushed to hospital.

In his message of comfort to the family, friends, relatives and the legal fraternity, the President described the departed Senior Counsel as a constitutional law stalwart and a patriotic Kenyan with unmatched legal prowess.

“I am deeply saddened by the death of my friend Senior Counsel Nzamba Kitonga, a fine constitutional lawyer and a trailblazer whose successes in public service are finely documented.

“We all remember and are forever indebted to Nzamba and his Committee of Experts for midwifing the 2010 constitution and for his many exploits as a lawyer of high standing,” the President eulogised.

The Head of State said the death of Kitonga is a major blow to Kenya especially now that the country is gearing up for fundamental constitutional reforms through the ongoing BBI process.

“Senior Counsel Nzamba Kitonga played a major role in the drafting of the 2010 Constitution and as a country we really needed his input as we take audit of it through the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).

“It is extremely sad that the cruel hand of death has snatched him from us at a time when our country is entering a constitutional moment,” the President Kenyatta wrote.

Retired President Mwai Kibaki also sent his condolences saying Nzamba Kitonga oversaw the historic midwifing of Kenya’s 2010 Constitution that brought to an end a long-running quest for change that had lasted for no less than two decades.

“I have learnt of the passing on of Nzamba Kitonga with utmost sadness. I sincerely pray that his family and friends find the Almighty God’s
immeasurable comfort and peace during this time of sorrow and loss.

Nzamba made his memorable contribution to an eventful trigger moment that will forever define the direction Kenya’s statehood as well as
statecraft will take in days to come. He goes down in the annals of history as one of the distinguished Kenyans who have played important,
outstanding and unforgettable catalyst roles in redefining the course of our beloved nation’s history,” said Kibaki in a statement.

On his part Deputy President William Ruto said “Philip Nzamba Kitonga was a fine intellectual and a legal giant who was deeply devoted to the democratic process, bringing about much-needed reforms to our country through the new Constitution.”

ODM leader Raila Odinga also mourned the late Nzamba Kitonga saying: “His death is an irreparable loss to our quest to improve on our 2010 Constitution where he served as chair of Committee of Experts.”

Chief Justice David Maraga also expressed his condolences saying: “I have learnt with great sadness about the demise of Senior Counsel Nzamba Kitonga, one of Kenya’s most distinguished legal practitioners and a key pillar in the country’s constitutional journey. May God give his family the fortitude to bear this heavy loss.”

Law Society of Kenya Nelson Havi said: “The burden and pain of untimely death has weighed down upon the Law Society of Kenya heavily today. We have just lost Nzamba Kitonga SC this evening.”

The body of deceased senior counsel has since been moved from Machakos to the Lee Funeral Home in Nairobi.

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Story By Benjamin Muriuki
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