Rita Tinina died of lung infection, post-mortem exam reveals


Timothy Njaga (centre), family spokesperson of the late NTV journalist Rita Tinina, briefing the media after a post-mortem to determine the cause of Rita's death at Umash Funeral Home on March 19, 2024.

Photo credit: Francis Nderitu | Nation Media Group

Prominent journalist Rita Tinina died of severe pneumonia, a post-mortem examination has revealed.

The exercise was conducted by government pathologist Peter Ndegwa and a family pathologist identified as Dr Michieka at Umash Funeral Services in Nairobi.

“We came here to witness the post-mortem examination. The process has now been completed and we have been given the results. We have been told that the late Rita died of severe pneumonia,” said Timothy Njaga, the family spokesman.

The family also said they were satisfied with the results and asked that they be given space to mourn their loved one whose sudden departure has left them with great griefs.

Also present during the post-mortem examination was Kenya Editors Guild president Zubeida Kananu, who had gone to condole with the family.

She had earlier described Tinina as a distinguished TV journalist “who showcased talent and dedication in journalism”.

Tinina, was an output producer, broadcast platforms at Nation Media Group since September 2023, was expected to report for duty last Sunday (March 17) and when she failed to do so, a check was made on her. It was then that she was found dead.

NMG Editor-in-Chief Joe Ageyo said Tinina had been well until Saturday but was found unresponsive the following morning.

With a distinguished career spanning almost two decades at NTV and Standard Group’s KTN, Tinina made a name for herself by curating fascinating news features.

She was also one of the few Kenyan journalists to cover the trial of six Kenyans at the International Criminal Court in The Hague for their alleged role in the 2007-8 post-election violence.

President William Ruto hailed her as a pioneer and trailblazer in television journalism. Opposition leader Raila Odinga said her death “leaves a void in the industry, but her legacy of storytelling and integrity will endure”.