Oparanya wants quick justice for slain Juma
Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya has called for a speedy investigation into the murder of Kenya’s top football fan Isaac Juma.
Oparanya, who led hundreds of football enthusiasts and mourners in an emotional sendoff for Juma on Saturday in Ubuyenjere village, Mumias West, warned that those who took part in the brutal murder will be brought to book and made to pay heavily for their ill action.
“We have come here to join the family and other mourners to accord our number one fan, a befitting sendoff as one way of appreciating his sacrifice in promotion of soccer,” said Oparanya. He added that the support his county government promised to the family of Juma will be fulfilled.
AFC Leopards chairman Dr Dan Shikanda termed the untimely demise of Juma a blow not only to his family but that of AFC Leopards and the entire football fraternity.
“Juma has been very instrumental on the terraces cheering players and pushing them to give their best,” he added. Gor Mahia’s ardent supporter Jaro Soja regretted the untimely death of Juma whom he termed as a close friend despite supporting different teams.
He urged the both Kakamega County and national to consider naming Mumias Sports Complex after Isaac Juma in his memory.
At the same time, Football Kenya Federation presidential aspirant Twaha Mbarak called for the formation of a football supporters trust in Kenya. The former Kenya Football Federation vice president said it’s time to reflect more on how to improve our football through engagement with fans.
“People like Juma gave so much to our game yet the game never gave something back to him. Juma loved the game of football and that is how he got connected to Leopards and Harambee Stars. Although his love for the game gave him emotional satisfaction, it never gave him the material gains football should have given him,” Mbarak said.
He said that if elected president of FKF in the forthcoming elections, one of his priorities will be to oversee the formation of a fans’ trust and to ensure it complies with the laws of Kenya and connect with it other supporters’ trusts around the world.
He said fans from other countries have formed supporters’ trust associations to cater for their welfare and Kenya should follow the same footsteps in ensuring that football-loving enthusiasts get the best out of their passion for supporting the beautiful game.
“The current mess we are witnessing in Kenya is partly because the fans’ voices have not been heard. When elected FKF President, I will ensure that fans get a voice in the running of the game they so very much love. I will surround myself with progressive people who have the interest of the fans at heart,” Mbarak promised.