Top city lawyer and 2010 constitution expert Philip Nzamba Kitonga (Senior Counsel) is dead after a short illness, according to his family.
The lawyer who chaired the Committee of Experts on the 2010 Constitutional Review died on Sunday evening while on his way to Nairobi from Makueni.
Nzamba was born in 1956 in Kitui County and has died at the age of 64.
He was also active in political matters and vied for the Kitui gubernatorial seat in 2013, but lost the former governor Julius Malombe.
Nzamba held positions such as the president of the East Africa Law Society and COMESA Court of Justice
He was among the shortlisted candidates for the position of Chief Justice of Kenya to replace Willy Mutunga.
Recently, the lawyer criticised President Uhuru Kenyatta for delaying to appoint the 41 judges.
He said that due to the delay, the backlog of cases has now crippled operations at our courts beyond imagination.
“The courts are now very desperate. Even lawyers and litigants are increasingly becoming desperate.”
The Chief Justice pointed out that a land case filed this year might be heard in 2022, but even other cases, like those to do with the war against corruption have also been severely affected.
Several leaders have eulogised Nzamba including, President Uhuru, Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Chief Justice David Maraga, Deputy President William Ruto, Prof Makau Mutua among others; see tweets
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. pic.twitter.com/DwUrTxRu9G
— David Maraga (@dkmaraga) October 24, 2020
I have received with deep shock news of the passing of Dr Nzamba Kitonga, one of our country’s eminent lawyers; a first-rate legal mind and fighter for constitutionalism. Dr Kitonga consistently interpreted the constitution to make sure it grew with our people and our nation. pic.twitter.com/1Gmkbwt3os
— Raila Odinga (@RailaOdinga) October 24, 2020
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.
— State House Kenya (@StateHouseKenya) October 25, 2020
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.
— William Samoei Ruto, PhD (@WilliamsRuto) October 24, 2020
I can’t believe Nzamba Kitonga is gone. He’s the reason I went to law school. Our close friendship and his pro bono representation of the poor inspired me to become a lawyer. Unbelievable. pic.twitter.com/XMMMg1COHa
— Prof Makau Mutua (@makaumutua) October 24, 2020
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. ^POLSK pic.twitter.com/zxxFfj4FA3
— Nelson Havi (@NelsonHavi) October 24, 2020
Nzamba Gitonga SC was a great lawyer with a sweet soul and affable character. He will be greatly missed in the Bar…Pole to his family…
— Ahmednasir Abdullahi SC (@ahmednasirlaw) October 24, 2020
Born and raised in Kitui, the late Nzamba Kitonga beat all odds to not only become an icon in Kenya's legal fraternity, but to serve as the President of the East African Law Society, and a member of the Committee of Experts that delivered the Constitution of Kenya in 2010.
— Mike Sonko (@MikeSonko) October 24, 2020