Kakamega deputy governor Philip Kutima’s name features prominently in the battle surrounding the burial chief-of-staff Robert Sumbi.
Sumbi succumbed to Covid-19. It is said that Kutima who was at one time considering Sumbi to be his running mate in 2022 brokered a deal to have him marry a Kabras lady while serving as a minister in Governor Wycliffe Oparanya’s first government between 2013 and 2017. Sumbi had stood for Mumias East parliamentary seat in 2013 but lost to Benjamin Washiali, the long-serving area MP. Sumbi was then based in Nairobi staying with his family in the Donholm area. He officially wedded with the first wife and they have children.After losing 2013 polls, his fortunes nosedived to an extent that he started depending on his wife for survival until Oparanya came to his rescue naming him to his cabinet in 2013.
Sources indicate that while in Kakamega, Sumbi whom you could not separate from beer and skirts was introduced to the second wife by Kutima. Using his powers in Kakamega county corridors, he got her employed and started cohabiting with her at Kenfico Estate in the outskirts of Kakamega town. Reports indicate that Kutima wanted to cement his political base of Kabras by even claiming that come 2022, his running-mate apart from coming from the populous Wanga community was also in-law in Kabras. On the other side, Kutima was also to sell the notion by virtue of having Sumbi married to their daughter, he was related to the Wangas. Sumbi burial saga has landed in courts as the first wife, a lecturer at a local university, has blocked the funeral proceedings.
Kutima is said to be pushing for the relative to be recognized by Sumbi’s parents. Reports indicate that plans were worked on to have Sumbi’s family pay dowry in death. Now, the battle is over his wealth that includes a Prado vehicle said to be on loan. He is said to own property in Nairobi. Many say the battle is over his benefits at the county where he served as Trade minister and then chief-of-staff. Just when burial preparations had begun rolling in Mumias the two Sussy Nandama Sumbi the legally wedded wife and Yvonne Tanui who is claimed to be Sumbi’s concubine locked horns. Mrs. Sumbi according to informed sources moved to the Kakamega chief magistrate’s court and obtained orders barring Tanui and brother Augustine Sumbi from removing the body or burying it.
The orders dated November 3 and issued by magistrate H Wandera at Kakamega caught a section of Sumbi’s colleagues unawares as the widow camped at the Kakamega funeral parlour. This was after word went round that there were attempts to clandestinely steal the body by Tanui and others for a secret burial elsewhere. “I have served the orders to all parties involved. I will camp at the parlour so that the planned stealing of my husband’s remains, as word has gone round, is not fruitful,” said Mrs. Sumbi. Weekly Citizen has established that the standoff could take longer following several demands advanced by the applicant in the case slated for hearing on November 17.
Unconfirmed reports indicate that senior officers at the county assembly could be catalyzing the standoff for unknown reasons. The assembly clerk Laban Maloba and speaker Morris Buluma are said to be using their closeness to Tunai in the battle. The reports indicate that the two, claimed to be secretly funding Tanui who works in the trade department of the county, are only puppets for a county “bigwig” in the property push. The two, according to our sources are determined for one reason or another to help Tanui to disinherit Mrs. Sumbi and her children off prime plots in Kajiado and house in Kitengela.
Tanui does not have children. Our source claimed the property making the two women bite each other did not belong to the county officer but to a senior county official who only used Sumbi as a conduit. “Sumbi’s wife according to the information I have has been adamant that the property was bought by her husband and that she is entitled to it while those fighting her want Tanui to be manipulated to take charge and return the property including cars to the said big wig’s possession,” said our source. Mrs. Sumbi has vowed to get justice adding that her move to court, although roundly and widely condemned, was to protect her children’s future and her husband’s legally earned property.