Kitonga died of cardiac arrest on Saturday evening, a government official said quoting the family. He was aged 64.
“He is dead. He suffered cardiac arrest,” the official said.
Kitonga’s death is a big blow to the legal fraternity and the country, coming at a time the document he helped craft is being subjected to a review under the Building Bridges Initiative jointly spearheaded by President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
Odinga was among leaders who sent condolence messages on Saturday night.
Law Society of Kenya President Nelson Havi led the legal fraternity in mourning Kitonga.
The BBI report due to be formally unveiled to the public on Monday, October 26, has substantial changes altering the governance model adopted under the 2010 constitution.
Proposed changes include the adoption of a hybrid presidential-parliamentary system under which an elected President appoints a Prime Minister from among members of the majority party in the National Assembly.
The BBI also proposes the appointment of two deputy Prime Ministers and ministers from within the membership of the National Assembly.
Other proposed amendments touch on the Judiciary, one of the key areas Kitonga had recently ventilated on.
Speaking in June 2020, the Kitui-born lawyer and politician called for the restructuring of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) by removing the Attorney General from its membership.
“The AG seats on the JSC and is part of the decision-making process, but after making those decisions, he goes and misadvises the President,” Kitonga said while referring to President Kenyatta’s refusal to appoint 41 JSC-recommended nominee judges.