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What Caused the Death of Rita Tinina?


The death of prominent television journalist Rita Tinina has thrown the country into mourning. Kenyans have eulogised Tinina as one of the best reporters the country has seen.

Her ability to tell ordinary stories in an extraordinary way made her the darling of Kenyans.

Among the prominent people who have eulogised the late journalist are President William Ruto, ODM leader Raila Odinga, governor Gladys Wanga, and her former and current colleagues in the newsroom.

President William Ruto described the late Tinina as “a pioneer and a trailblazer in TV journalism.”

Rita Tinina cause of death

Autopsy conducted on the body revealed the late NTV journalist succumbed to severe pneumonia.

Family spokesman Timothy Njaga conveyed their satisfaction with the findings.

“We had come here to witness the postmortem and it was completed by Dr Ndegwa and the family pathologist. We have been given the results that the late died of severe pneumonia,” he said.

Tinina was found unresponsive by her house help on Sunday morning, March 17. The housekeeper would shortly after confirm that the reporter was dead.

A police report seen by says the house help called a family friend and eventually relatives.

The report further reveals the journalist was suffering from epilepsy and was nursing a severe fever days prior to her death.

“She was suffering from epilepsy and had a five-day-old severe fever; her health history was given by the said sister,” read the report.

It also confirmed that no physical injuries on the body.

Kenyans eulogise Rita Tinina

Tinina had over 20 years’ experience in the journalism profession. Her colleagues paid a glowing tribute, describing the late as talented, resourceful, and a team player.

Statehouse spokesman Hussein Mohamed said:

“Rita bailed me out once during my time at Citizen TV, helping me file a story when our equipment failed at an EAC Heads of State Summit in Arusha during Kibaki’s presidency.

It was my first interaction with her, as she was already a household name in the media  while I was a rookie at the time. Nonetheless, she displayed grace then, as she always has. My condolences to friends and family.”

Julie Gichuru wrote: Rita Tinina was the calm in every storm. In the chaos of the newsroom, she was composed, focused, and, most importantly, kind. More often than not, Rita was smiling, and when she wasn’t, you could feel it anyway—it was her powerful demeanor. Rita was the consummate professional, and she was caring. A powerful combination.

Dr Mercy Korir wrote:

“Undeniably, Rita was one of Kenya’s finest journalists and voices. I learned my craft on TV under her wings, always available to coach.

Her professionalism, dedication to the truth, and excellence are unmatched in the media. RT, we are poorer without you. RIP, my friend.”

ODM leader Raila Odinga mourned the late as “one who has left an indelible mark on Kenya’s media landscape.”

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Rita Tinina has left behind a nine-year-old daughter.

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