NAIROBI, KENYA: Former Kenya National Union of Teachers Secretary General David Okuta Siany has passed on.
Okuta died on Tuesday night at Nairobi Women’s Hospital where he was being given first aid after he developed breathing complications at his Rongai home.
Okuta had been admitted to the Aga Khan Hospital for the past three weeks and was only discharged on Tuesday after his doctor said he had improved.
A family member who spoke to Standard Digital said Okuta arrived home Tuesday evening at about 5pm.
“He was doing well. He even had dinner and was upbeat,” said a family member who sought anonymity.
A few hours after dinner, Okuta is said to have developed breathing complications. Before he could be rushed to Aga Khan hospital, he was taken to Nairobi Women’s hospital for first aid.
“But it was already late. He died at the hospital,” said Paul Onywera, his personal assistant. The body is lying at the Lee Funeral Home.
Okuta had been out of office since February this year serving his retirement leave. Knut Acting Secretary General Xavier Nyamu said Okuta’s wife called him in the morning asking him to relay the information to his union colleagues.
“Mrs.Okuta called me this morning to tell me of the unfortunate incident and it is a great loss indeed,” he said.
Nyamu said the union and the teaching fraternity are saddened by the loss. “This is sad news indeed. May his soul rest in peace,” said Nyamu.
Okuta was taken ill September 2012 at his Kisumu home where he was reported to have collapsed.
This happened just a day before the nationwide teachers’ strike, which he was instrumental in organising.
At that time, Okuta was rushed to Kisumu Aga Khan Hospital for treatment. He was later flown to Nairobi for specialised treatment.
Days later he was back on his feet and even managed to call off the strike.
He then attended to his office partially as he gained strength. Early this year he went on leave pending his retirement.
Osiany has been instrumental in fighting for the rights of teacher in the nation. He took office as Secretary General of the teachers union in mid-2011.
In December 2012, David Okuta Osiany was awarded the Moran of the Order of the Burning Spear (MBS) by President Mwai Kibaki during the 49th Jamuhuri Day Celebrations.