The Rise And Rise Of Citizen TV’s Investigative Reporter Purity Mwambia

Purity Mwambia
Purity Mwambia. [PHOTO/ COURTESY]

The life of an investigative journalist in Kenya is that of a dare-devil, since there is no guarantee that you will come out alive.

An investigative journalist faces so many threats including life threats, intimidation and even bribes. While some choose a comfortable life of bribes, others choose the life of discomfort, just to tell the truth.

With the dearth of investigative journalism in Kenya, Citizen TV‘s Purity Mwambia has stood the test of time alongside a few others to tell the bitter truth, sometimes risking their lives.

The story of gun trade in Kenya involving some policemen is the latest done by Ms Mwambia, that has set tongues wagging in the country.

In her piece, Mwambia tells the tale of the bromace between a number of criminals in Kenya and the police, and how the police rent out their tools of work to criminals. In case a deal goes sour, the criminal is eliminated, and in cases where the criminal is faster, the involved police officer is gunned down.

Away from the story that is now a threat to her life, Ms Mwambia has worked for over three mainstream media houses doing investigative work.

She started her work at KTN as an investigative reporter. At KTN, she is highly remembered for Dhahabu ya Mauti, an investigative piece which exposed gold scams in the country.

She later moved to Mediamax’s K24 where she is remembered for Bweta la Uhalifu, an investigative piece that landed her in trouble with the police. She was arrested and grilled by the antiterror police unit (ATPU) on April 27, 2015 over the piece.

In the piece, she was able to get into the GSU headquarters with an improvised explosive device that was undetected by the police officers.

A Mediamax driver, Mr William Mwangi, who was assigned to the investigation team of Bweta La Uhalifu was attacked in his home by thugs looking for information about Ms Mwambia. According to Mwangi, the thugs were looking for a laptop that contained footage of an investigation Purity was working on. 

In 2016, Mwambia worked for CNN where she investigated how British American Tobacco (BAT) attempted to block anti-smoking regulations in Kenya, with allegations that some politicians may have been taking money from the industry.

She later joined Citizen TV in 2018, under the same capacity of an investigative reporter.

In 2020, her career experienced a nosedive after an investigative piece dubbed Virusi Safarini. She received a backlash from the public over the piece, which was considered by many as unprofessional.

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