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Kassim Mohamed Biography, Career, Arrest and Awards

Investigative journalism is not for the faint hearted. These are the brave souls who go through a lot of trouble-coupled with risks-just to uncover some deep hidden evils in society. Kenya has some of the best investigative journalists who risk their lives every other day to be able to bring us some well documented pieces. Kassim Mohamed is one of Kenya’s top investigative journalists who has done so many pieces that have exposed the ills that bedevils our society. He has worked alongside some of the best in the field including John Allan Namu and Mohammed Ali.

Career

In 2004, he began working as an intern for the Kenya Television Network (KTN), Kenya’s first independent TV station. 

In 2005, he joined the news reporting team as a reporter. 

After working for the station, he left and joined the BBC as an investigative journalist. He also became one of the directors of Africa Uncensored, an independent media house meant to investigate, expose and empower the masses. 

Investigative pieces

As an investigative journalist, he worked on a number of pieces while still with KTN. Some of these pieces were:

  • A piece titled Wolves at Westgate where he talked about the infamous Al-Shabaab attack that killed many and left others injured at the mall.
  • The forgotten war in his hometown Mandera 
  • He exposed how top officials were profiting by selling food while people were dying of hunger. 
  • Working alongside other journalists, John Allan Namu included, they did a series known as The Executioner. It focused on extrajudicial killings and showed how anti terror police officers brutally killed innocent people., Like the case of Said Mohamed who was shot and killed by the police. The police claimed it was out of self defense while eyewitnesses claim the man was handcuffed at the time of the shooting. 
  • He also did a very enlightening piece about Somali pirates. He risked his lives and even conducted in-depth interviews with them in a piece that brought light to the lives of pirates and their wives. 

Arrest

In February 2019, Kassim was arrested in Uganda together with his BBC colleagues Godfrey Badeby, Rashid Kaweesa and their driver Shafiq.. According to reports, the police were after Solomon Serwanjja, another investigative journalist who worked for NBS in Uganda. They were allegedly targeting Solomon with regards to an investigative piece on trafficking in pharmaceutical drugs between Uganda and neighbouring countries. The police, however, claimed it was in relation to drugs. Later, the journalist was released. 

Awards

He received the 2012 knight international journalism awards. The award recognizes excellent reporting that makes a difference in the lives of people around the world. This was after he did the piece about Somali pirates.