By Faith Nyambeki
She is a brave one and has flourished where few have dared venture. Purity Mwambia is an investigative journalist in the mould of John-Allan Namu and Mohammed Ali-now Nyali MP. Her investigative pieces have put her in trouble with the authorities and-like her latest exposé-the ire of social media users. Her intentions were definitely good but Kenyans can be unforgiving at times. Here are some of her outstanding work:
Murder for Profit
The investigative piece done by Mwambia on a crooked uncle who killed his nephew to claim his life insurance policy won her accolades and showed the impact of investigative journalism in the country. This jolted the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Noordin Haji, to take action against the perpetrator. A tweet by the DPP read in part:
“The DPP’s attention has been drawn to a news feature appearing on Citizen TV prime time news in regard to the Kangundo incident. Due to the nature of the case, the DPP has directed that immediate legal steps be taken to ensure justice is done”
Bweta La Uhalifu
This is the expose that was never aired and got the journalist in trouble with the police. The daring Mwambia managed to sneak an improvised explosive device into GSU headquarters in what was supposed to show how porous the supposedly well guarded facility is. At the time she worked at K24.
Other pieces she has done include Usalama Shelabela-showing how easy one can enter guarded premises with a gun. ‘Wauwaji Sugu Wa Kisumu’ on gangs that kill with impunity as police turn a blind eye. These gangs are said to have police blessings.
Serikali Tamba brought to the fore the wanton disregard of the law and corruption of police officers and county officers in the streets of Nairobi at night. The officers round up people on the streets and demand a bribe to set them free.
‘Makasisi Wabakaji’ brought justice to minors who had fallen prey to a man of the cloth who had abused them. Police moved swiftly and arrested the pastor.
Her career has been on an upward trajectory. The expose while she worked on K24 TV gained a lot of views and prompted the authorities to take action. It was natural that she would join a bigger station and when Citizen came calling she did not decline the offer. Purity is the only female investigative journalist in Kenya who is well known in Kenya. And her work has put her in trouble. A Mediamax driver William Mwangi who was assigned to the investigate team ‘Bweta La Uhalifu’ was attacked in his home by thugs looking for information about Purity Mwambia. According to Mwangi, the thugs were looking for a laptop that contained footage of an investigation Purity was working on.
The expose Virusi Safarani was well intentioned but probably did not have the desired effect on Kenyans. But that does not take away the fact that she is a great journalist worth emulating.