Kenyan veteran journalist Ochieng succumbs to “acute pneumonia”

PHILIP OCHIENG, one of the East Africa’s celebrated veteran journalists, a renowned editor and columnist, is dead.

Aged 82, the Kenyan national who worked across the region – including Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania – died this night. His family confirmed that Ochieng succumbed to acute pneumonia at his Awendo home in Migori.

He had been admitted at the Ombo Mission Hospital and was discharged last week.

Ochieng previously served as editor for the Nation Media Group.

Within minutes of his passing away, several prominent personalities took to Twitter to eulogise the long-serving columnist.

One of them, ODM Leader and Kenya’s Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, mourned Ochieng as a legendary columnist with an unmatched prowess of the English language.

“Through the power of the pen, Philip spoke to the most powerful and moved the society into action,” Raila said.

Simon Mkina, a senior editor from Tanzania, said: “The entire East Africa has lost one of the greatest journalist of the century.”

Mkina said Ochieng was “a moving encyclopedia when it comes to anything in the region” and that his pen has shaped many in the media fraternity.

“Ochieng was probably the best in the newsroom and outside; he was knowledgeable and happy to share whatever he had. He was simply super,” said Richard Mgamba, another senior editor from Tanzania.

Ugandan journalist Frederic Musisi said Ochieng was simply the best, and he was hard working past his retirement age.

“This man loved journalism from his heart and was very bitter to anyone who tried to belittle the profession on whatever reason,” Musisi said.

Ochieng will be greatly missed!