Journalist Traces Last Moments With Lawyer Nzamba Hours Before Death

  • Former chairman of the Committee of Experts (CoE) that drafted the 2010 Constitution Nzamba Kitonga.
    Former chairman of the Committee of Experts (CoE) that drafted the 2010 Constitution Nzamba Kitonga.
    The Standard
  • Revered lawyer Nzamba Kitonga was pronounced dead on the evening of Saturday, October 24 moments after collapsing at a funeral.

    His passing on came just a few hours after holding a phone conversation with a journalist attached to The Standard.

    In a detailed tribute, journalist Wilfred Nyaga disclosed his shock and disbelief following news of the lawyer's death, noting that the Senior Counsel had earlier in the day acted as a source on a story he was putting together

    Nyaga stated that he was working on a story centered around the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), alongside journalists Roselyne Obala and Jacob Ng’etich. It was then that he decided to call the lawyer after the editor asked him to get an expert's voice on the matter. 

    The Standard Media Group Mombasa Road Offices . Thursday, October 14, 2019.
    The Standard Media Group Mombasa Road Offices . Thursday, October 14, 2019
    Simon Kiragu
    Kenyans.co.ke

    "It was at exactly 1:40 p.m. when he picked the call. I remember the exact minute because I almost disconnected the call when I realized it was at lunch hour.

    "‘This is not the right time to call him. He could be in the middle of a meal,” I reasoned. But before I could disconnect, he picked," he said.

    The journalist noted that Nzamba, who helped draft the Constitution of Kenya, 2010, confided in him that some aspects of the BBI proposal had been removed.

    "He spoke of how some of the provisions in the BBI proposals were in the Harmonized Draft Constitution of Kenya that never saw the light of the day. He also spoke of how political alliances would be the in-thing in 2022.

    "It was a short conversation. He didn’t sound like a person who wanted to speak much. That was uncharacteristic of the man. I assumed he could be in the middle of something," he added.

    Later that day, Nzamba is said to have collapsed while attending a funeral at Mutito in Kitui East Constituency. He died while being rushed to the hospital.

    According to his brother, Nzamba lost consciousness at the funeral with reports indicating that he might have suffered a heart attack.

    "It was an emergency that we had to call the Amref wing to evacuate him to Nairobi for specialised treatment, but all our efforts didn't bear fruit," stated his brother Muthusi Kitonga.

    Former Vice President Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka (Left), Lawyers Nzamba Kitonga (Centre) and Apolo Mboya (Right)
    Former Vice President Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka (Left), Lawyers Nzamba Kitonga (Centre) and Apolo Mboya (Right)
    File