Former assistant minister Oprong dies aged 83


The late Fredrick Oduya Oprong. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Former Economic Planning and National Development assistant minister Fredrick Oduya Oprong has died aged 83, his son, Isaac, confirmed on Sunday.

The former Amagoro MP was pronounced dead on Saturday night after a lengthy battle with poor health. He was ailing from diabetes, high blood pressure and chest complications as well as the effects of a stroke that he suffered five years ago.

Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong mourned Oprong, praising him for his role in raising the region’s profile before and after Kenya’s Independence.

Oprong was in June 1994 shot twice in the head by unknown gunmen one evening as he entered his car at his home in Nairobi’s Mariakani Estate.

One bullet was later removed, but medics said extracting the other would be fatal.

Oprong’s ill health took a toll on his family’s finances, forcing them to part with family assets to pay the piling medical bills as well as the upkeep for his 27 children from five wives.

For the past 25 years, Oprong had been heavily dependent on medication and required round the clock care due to his condition. His family had petitioned the government to aid in the payment for his treatment, citing that he was injured (shot) while at work.

Oprong was the MP for then Busia North Constituency from 1963 to 1969, and 1974 and 1979. He served again from 1992 to 1997 after the constituency was renamed Amagoro

He was appointed Labour assistant minister by the late president Mzee Jomo Kenyatta. Former president Daniel arap Moi then appointed him assistant minister in the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development.