The media fraternity has been plunged into mourning following the death of newspaper editor and communications expert Kihumba Kamotho.
Mr Kamotho, 56, was until his death on Monday working in the communications department of the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), a unit he headed until last year.
He briefly worked at the Nation Media Group as a writer in 1992 and served as an education writer, chief sub-editor and senior editor at the Standard Media Group from 1994 to 2002 when he joined the TSC secretariat.
Mr Kamotho died at Mater Hospital, where he was being treated for pneumonia. He leaves behind his wife Catherine and four children.
Former TSC chief executive Benjamin Sogomo described him as polite, calculating, passionate and foresighted.
“Kamotho had the flair to navigate through complex academic arguments, which he would simplify to the understanding of teachers. The teaching fraternity is poorer without him,” Mr Sogomo said.
Former Mukurweini MP Kabando Wa Kabando described Mr Kamotho as a man who was fiercely independent and believed in professional ethics.
Mr Kamotho will be remembered as a prolific writer and editor at the Standard Media Group where he produced many news stories, analyses, features and opinions on education and social welfare.
At the TSC, he eloquently enunciated policies or new rules through newspaper articles or phone calls with journalists.
Having taught in secondary school before joining journalism, education matters were in Mr Kamotho’s DNA, earning him the moniker ‘Mwalimu’.
Kenya National Union of Teachers secretary-general Wilson Sossion described Mr Kamotho as a gifted professional who was resourceful in responsibilities assigned to him.
“He was meticulous in his work at the TSC. We’ve lost a dedicated public servant who engaged us all in the teaching service,” Mr Sossion said.
Long serving Nation Media Group Education editor David Aduda described Mr Kamotho as one of the leading education writers of all time.
“He was insightful, calm, reflective and authoritative. He never sensationalised a story or went to press with unverified content,” Mr Aduda said.
He added that after Mr Kamotho left the newsroom, he would give him leads on the stories to follow.”