A somber mood has engulfed the Khasoko home of the slain businessman Jacob Juma @Kabetes following his assassination.
And in his Karen home, Nairobi, where his wife and young children reside, there was more grief. Residents of Mugore village, Bungoma trooped to Juma’s homestead from early morning to condole with immediate relatives. Visibly shaken relatives assembled in small groups and could be seen in talking in low tones.
Relatives who spoke to The Standard on Saturday indicated that their lives could be in danger as those behind the killing may also target them.
Eliud Makokha, a brother to the deceased, said Juma had indicated last year that there were some people in government who were after his life. “He kept telling us that his life was in danger and we did not want to believe him. We just wished that it would go away,” Makokha recalled.
Makokha said his late brother even told them that he had recorded a statement with the police in Nairobi over the matter. “It seemed that he was very sure that some people wanted him dead. However at that time, we just thought maybe he was telling us a lie,” he said.
Everlyne Makokha, a sister-in-law, pointed said the slain businessman was a breadwinner not only to the family but also for many other homesteads in the village. “Being a prominent businessman, he employed many youth from the village. The fate of these young people now hangs in the balance,” she said.
She said Juma paid school fees for many children in the village who were from poor families.
“We don’t know what will happen to these children since the person who paid their school fees is no longer there,” she added.
Family members asked the government to speed up investigations into the killing and bring the culprits to book. They further asked the government to guarantee them of their safety since they might also be targeted.
“Investigations should start immediately. We don’t want what just happened to disappear into thin air. Those responsible should pay for what they have done,” Mrs Makokha added.
Juma was born in Mugore village in 1970 and attended Mugore Primary School. He went to Bungoma High School for his secondary education before joining the University of Nairobi. Juma specialised in mining business where he worked with several investors in the sector.