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The guy who ‘killed’ Leonard Mambo Mbotela



Leonard Mambo Mbotela (above), who retired but was retained by KBC, runs his music band and performs in various hotels and functions.

Kenyans today woke up to news on social media that renowned radio broadcaster Leonard Mambo Mbotela has passed on.

Some bloggers took up the ‘news’ and published, but Business Today has confirmed that the man famous for his Je Huu ni Ungwana radio and TV programme and phrase is alive and kicking.

The reports, which claimed that Mambo had died in a road accident early today, are in fact false and part of the fake news wave sweeping the blogosphere perpetuated by bloggers seeking to increase visits to their sites.

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KBC editor in chief Samuel Maina has confirmed that Mambo, who worked for the national broadcaster most of his life is alive. “I have just talked to him. It (the death news) is all nonsense,” he said.

Also, through his friend Ali Manzu of KTN, Mambo Mbotela has asked Kenyans to ignore the rumours. “Good morning, this is to confirm that Mzee Mambo Mbotela is not dead,” said Manzu on Facebook. “I have talked to him and he asked us to ignore the rumours.”

The fake news was started on Twitter by one Njoki Kelvin (Ngangatheblogger). It has emerged that the overzealous Twitter user mistook Leornad Mwamba, the jubilee aspirant in Kitutu Chache who died in an accident, for Mambo Mbotela.

Kelvin-Njoki-NgangaTheBlogger The guy who 'killed' Leonard Mambo Mbotela

Kelvin Njoki, the man who ‘broke’ the news on Twitter. He has since apologised.

Kelvin has apologized and pulled down the post. “The post I made referring to Leonard Mambo Mbotela was erroneous. It should be Léonard Mwamba a jubilee aspirant in Kitutu Chache. Apologies!”

But the news spread fast given that Leonard Mambo is a household name and must have got Kelvin more followers on Twitter as he misled many bloggers and social media users into announcing the fake news to others.

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In this era of fake news, Kelvin’s apologies, and those of other bloggers who tweeted or published the rumours, should be taken with a pinch of salt and perhaps they  needs to personally apologise to Leonard Mambo. Social media users and bloggers deliberately use fake posts about popular people perceived to be harmless to get attract fans.

This comes just a few months after another bloggers spread fake news about the death of Daniel Ndambuki, aka Churchill, in an accident along Mai Mahiu road. Fake news propagators target prominent people and celebrities.

Mambo, who retired but was retained by KBC, runs his music band which performs at Cub Vibro in Nairobi West. He has, however, been missing from the TV programme Je Huu ni Ungwana and his role has been taken up by one of the actors.

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Mambo has been part of Kenya’s post-independent history as a continuity announcer at KBC and football commentator. But what makes him more prominent is the fact that he was in the studio when the 1982 coup plotters stormed KBC studios and made him announce takeover of the government, which was foiled a few hours later

Mambo, who hails Frere town in Mombasa, has worked in media for over, and his could easily be one of the longest stints on the airwaves. He has been in the media scene for more than 45 years.

Je Huu ni Ungwana was first aired in 1966. The show had its core focus on common courtesy and ethics among Kenyans. Mbotela also has a striking eloquence in Kiswahili and been campaigning for the protection of the language from being corrupted.


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Business Today is the leading independent online business website in Kenya. Started in 2012 by a veteran business journalist, it has a huge following both in Kenya and abroad. It covers various business and related issues. Email editor at: [email protected]

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Media Watch

Kenyan journalist wins award for RVR graft expose

Patrick Mayoyo detailed how part of Ksh 17 billion loan meant to improve the consortium’s services by buying new locomotives was used on purchasing used ones that were later expensively modified



Kenya investigative journalist Patrick Mayoyo has bagged another award for his expose on how World Bank loans to Rift Valley Railways were stolen by a rail company in Kenya and Uganda.

The story, titled the Lunatic Express Files, was among stories that won accolades during the Norbert Zongo Investigative Journalism awards.

In the story, Mayoyo, a former deputy news editor with the Daily Nation, detailed how part of Ksh 17 billion (US$164 million) loans meant to improve RVR’s services by buying new locomotives was used on purchasing used ones that were modified at a cost of six times their value.

The story that won the merit award, revealed how development finance institutions supported companies using the world’s most secretive financial centres commonly known as tax havens and did not have proper mechanism in place to monitor loans they advanced to developing countries.

Mayoyo, now the Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Reporter, also revealed that developing countries lose billions of dollars every year through tax avoidance and evasion.

The Nobert Zongo Investigative Journalism Prize is an award of excellence to reward the best works of Investigative journalism in Africa.

The prize aims to promote a journalism of investigation and research, on subjects related to political, economic, social and cultural life.

The award is named after Nobert Zongo who was the editor of the weekly newspaper L’Ind’ependant in Burkina Faso who dedicated his professional career to uncovering the truth.

He was assassinated in 1998, at the age of 49, while investigating allegations linking the brother of then Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaor’e, to a high-profile unresolved murder.

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The story revealed that most DFIs including the World Bank continue to face major challenges in measuring their overall development impact, and ensuring that the projects they fund do not harm communities in developing countries.

Following the revelations, the World Bank slapped sanctions against RVR and the Kenyan government has since cancelled the 25-year-old concession contract it had signed with RVR.

The original version of this story appeared in the Daily Reporter. 

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Media Watch

Popular TV girl, Amina Abdi, quits K24. Where next?

There are reports she is set to replace NTV’s Larry Madowo on The Trend show. Madowo recently shifted to the new Sidebar current affairs programme



Former K24 Alfajiri host Amina Abdi Rabar. There is speculation she may replace Larry Madowo on NTV's The Trend after the latter recently shifted to hosting Sidebar current affairs show

Speculation is rife as to where popular TV girl, Amina Abdi Rabar, is headed to after announcing she was quitting K24 last Friday.

Some think, the former Alfajiri show host, is set to replace NTV’s Larry Madowo on The Trend show. Madowo recently shifted to the new Sidebar current affairs programme.

The Capital FM radio presenter had been hosting the popular morning show for two years before she called it quits.

‘’It’s been a good run @k24tv thanks to my wonderful bosses! I have been with K24 Alfajiri for the last two years and it’s been amazing, check out my page for more information on where I’m headed next!’’ Amina, who is also a presented with Capital FM, posted on social media.

It also recently emerged she would be leaving popular radio show, Hits not Homework, becuase she reveals she has outgrown it.

Apart from radio and TV, Amina is also a singer, MC and an actor.

She is married to Homeboyz CEO DJ John Rabar and they are blessed with one son.

She is engaged in two personal campaigns, Operation Santa – An intiative Amina started so as to feed street families. Whereby together with her fans (Amina Army) they go to different locations and feed street families and Brunch With Amina – This is a youth empowerment programme whereby Amina has an intimate chat with ladies over the different fields in which she’s had a chance to work in.

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There is also Dare to Believe with Amina, a flagship initiative that focuses on encouraging young men and women especially those who are still in school, to dare to believe that they can be anything they set their mind to regardless of the challenges that they face.

The initiative also seeks to inspire them to be successful and work even harder just like she has over the years to make a name for herself in the media industry.

Amina is also the brand ambassador for Daisy girl. It is a reusable sanitary towel company founded for the sole reason of donation to disadvantaged girls.

We can only wish her the very best in her future endeavours.

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Media Watch

Standard employees told to go on annual leave

In a memo to staff, Group Head of Human Resources Nicholas Siwatom expresses concern that leave ourstanding has been accumulating forcing the company to carry a heavy burdern



Standard Group headquarters along Mombasa Road in Nairobi. The media house operates KTN and KTN News television channels, Radio Maisha as well as The Standard and Nairobian newspapers.

The Standard Group has asked all its permanent employees to reduce their pending leave days as the media house embarks on austeriry measures in the wake of an anticipated drop in 2017 profits by 25%.

In a memo to staff, Group Head of Human Resources Nicholas Siwatom expresses concern that leave ourstanding has been accumulating forcing the company to carry a heavy burdern and urged them to proceed on their leave as the year comes to close, noting that it is important and healthy for employees to take time off from work.

“It has been noted that leave outstanding is accumulating and the company is carrying a heavy leave burden. It is important and healthy to take time off from work to take your leave and we approach the end of the year you are advised to plan with your manager/ supervisor your leave to ensure that you clear your pending leave or carry forward at least 5 days,” Mr Siwatom says.

It is not clear when employess at the Standard Group are reluctant to take their outstanding leaves but there have been reports that the company is planning to shed off more employees to reduce its wage bill in the face of dwindling fortunes.

However, the situation is not unique to the Standard Group. Across the media world, most employees re often reluctant to take leave to protect their interests and justify their relevance in the newsroom with the main culprits being editors and senior reporters.

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This, in most cases, forces employers to buy leave days at premium rate when journalists are laid off or change jobs, which has served to encourage them not take a break.

But, at the same time, restructuring process in most media houses in recent years have seen them operate at the bare minimum in terms of personell, making them unable to accomidate annual leave for its dependable journalists, a situation that was compounded by this year’s prolonged elections process.

However, as a sign that things are not rosy at the Mombasa Road-based Standard Group, the media house recently restricted access to non-core online platforms such as Whasapp.


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Bt Intelligence

‘Fake News’ reinforces trust in mainstream media

New study by Kantar found that the reputation of traditional print and broadcast media outlets has proven more resilient than social media platforms and online only news outlets



Traditional print media and broadcast outlets are more trusted that digital platforms in the coverage of politics and elections, a new study by the world’s leading research, data and insight brand, Kantar, has revealed.

The global “Trust in News” study, which surveyed 8,000 individuals across Brazil, France, the United Kingdom and the United States of America about their attitudes to news coverage of politics and elections, found that:

  • The efforts to brand ‘mainstream news media’ as ‘fake news’ have largely failed. The reputation of traditional print and broadcast media outlets has proven more resilient than social media platforms and online only news outlets, primarily as a result of the depth of coverage being delivered.
  • Audiences are becoming more widely informed and sophisticated in their engagement with, and evaluation of, news content.
  • The public retain a belief that journalism is key to the health of democracy – but have become more sceptical. Specifically, in both in Brazil and USA, where a significant percentage of the population believe ‘fake news’ impacted the outcome of their most recent elections.

Who do we trust?

The reputational fallout of the ‘fake news’ phenomenon has been predominantly borne by social media and messaging platforms, and ‘online only’ news channels. Print magazines, at 72%, are the most trusted news source, closely followed by the other traditional outlets of print newspapers and TV and radio news. Only one in three recognise social media sites and messaging apps as a trusted news source. ‘Online only’ news outlets are trusted by half of the population, significantly less than their print and broadcast brethren. Interestingly, the online presence of print and broadcast media are trusted slightly less than the originating titles and channels.

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Social media and messaging platforms have sustained significant reputational damage as a source of trusted news. News coverage of politics and elections on social media platforms (among which Facebook is dominant with 84% usage in the preceding week) and messaging apps (of which Whatsapp is the most used) is ‘trusted less’ by almost sixty percent of news audiences (58% & 57% respectively) because of the ‘fake news’ phenomenon. ‘Online only’ news outlets also sustained significant reputational damage in this respect: ‘trusted less’ by 41% of news audiences.

Print titles have proved more resilient, experiencing a smaller loss of trust, with print magazines and newspapers both ‘trusted less’ by 23% of audiences. However, both categories also experienced similar increases in trust in their coverage (23% and 17% respectively).

Print media nets out with more than three quarters of news audiences trusting them ‘the same’ or ‘more than’ before the ‘fake news’ phenomenon. 24-hour news channels also retain a strong position as a trusted source with 78% of news audiences trusting them ‘the same’ or ‘more than’ before the ‘fake news’ narrative.

Across all four surveyed countries, 46% of news audiences believe ‘fake news’ had an influence on the outcome of their most recent election. This was most pronounced in Brazil – where 69% believed fake news had an impact, and the USA where 47% believe there was an influence. There is though some recognition that companies like Facebook and Google are taking steps to tackle ‘fake news’. (13% of UK news audiences claiming to have seen efforts vs a third of Brazilians, 16% in France and 22% in the US).

News consumption habits are evolving

The news-reading public are becoming a more widely informed audience. 40% of news audiences have increased the number of news sources they use compared to 12 months prior. ‘All online’ has overtaken television as the primary source of news (figure 3). With under 35 year olds, social media – despite its reputational issues –almost matches television as a source of news (65% Vs 69%).

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The news audience is additionally becoming a more thoughtful audience. Contrary to ‘news filter bubble’ or ‘echo chamber’ narratives, we find 40% of social media users explore alternate views to their own and almost two thirds worry that ‘personalisation’ will create a ‘news filter bubble’. More than three quarters of news consumers claim to have independently fact-checked a story, while 70% have reconsidered sharing an article – worried that it might be fake news. On the flip side, almost one if five admit to sharing a story after reading only the headline.

The Kantar ‘Trust in News’ survey conducted representative sample surveys of 2,000 individuals each in Brazil, France, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.  A more complete summary of the survey can be found on Kantar Insight pages, along with access to the full report.

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