A renowned scholar and former University of Nairobi don, Prof Aloys Tumbo-Oeri is dead. Tumbo-Oeri, who served as the Principal of the University of Nairobi’s College of Biological and Physical Sciences at the Chiromo campus between 1997 and 2002, collapsed in his house at about 4am yesterday, according to his nephew, Kitutu Chache South MP Richard Onyonka.
He was pronounced dead on arrival at hospital. Prof Tumbo-Oeri is suspected to have suffered a cardiac arrest. And on learning of Tumbo-Oeri’s death, Kisii Governor James Ongwae expressed shock, describing him as a great son of the county and a man who took keen interest in issues both political and general management affecting not just his community but the nation.
“Prof Tumbo-Oeri welcomed me to the University when I joined as a fresh man and we have been friends since then,” said the governor, adding; “barely three weeks ago, we invited him as a facilitator during the joint induction workshop for the County Executive and County Assembly where he gave use good advice on management of the county.”
The deceased, a specialist in Biochemist/Immunologist, has been working as a consultant as a capacity building and monitoring and evaluation specialist working for various universities, the national and county governments.
The don was a regular newspaper contributor and TV panelist offering enriching insights on a variety of issues including last year’s political contest between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition National Super Alliance (Nasa) leader Raila Odinga. News of his death sent his Mosocho village into wailing and mourning.
His sister, Julia Nyakundi, mourned him as a ‘brain box’ due to his sharpness in grasping ideas both orally and the written word. Another nephew, Timmy Onyonka, recalled the family celebrating the dons 70th birthday recently and described him as a colourful person who loved everyone, saying he had been in good health but had started complaining of chest pains in recent days.
He was the surviving son of the late Mzee Oeri having lost his sole surviving brother barely two months ago. His other sibling was the late one time Foreign Minister Dr Zachary Onyonka.