Veteran Kiswahili radio presenter Leornard Mambo Mbotela has finally spoken about rumours about his death and made a special request to Kenyans to pray for him to live even longer. He says he is alive, contrary to reports that he perished in a road accident today. [see full radio call at the end]
Reports by social media bloggers indicated that Mbotela had died. Messages of condolences had started trickling after the false news spread. But the journalist, known for the “Je huu ni ungwana” show on KBC, said he is full of life and has forgiven the person who started the rumors.
“I forgive the person who crafted and peddled the false report that I perished in a road accident,” he said on KBC radio. “He does not know what he is doing. May God forgive him.”
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The journalist said he had received many calls from friends and relatives, even abroad. “International media houses all have called me to ascertain the accuracy of the online reports,” he said. “I would like to confirm to KBC listeners, my fans and relatives that I Mbotela, I am alive currently speaking to you on radio.”
The bloggers who also tweeted about his death apologised for the false information.
Mbotela made the phone call to KBC, which was aired it live, to calm the rumours.
“I have received a lot of phone calls, with concerned friends and Kenyans inquiring about my health,” he said. ”I would like to confirm to KBC listeners, my fans, relatives, work colleagues, friends and my bosses that I, Leonard Mambo Mbotela, I am alive currently speaking to you on radio.
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“I am alive; breathing as I would every other day. I am full of life. I thank God. I urge you to pray for me to live longer. I have never received as many calls as I have today. International media houses including Deutsche Welle (DW), the BBC all have called to ascertain the accuracy of the online reports.
”I am alive, I am well. I thank God. Kindly pray that I live longer. I am alive. I am alive. I am alive. I forgive the person who crafted and peddled the false report that I perished in a road accident; he does not know what he is doing. May God forgive him too,” he said.