Journalists Who Transitioned to Top Govt Jobs

  • Having led successful careers as embers of the fourth estate, where they informed and educated the public while brushing shoulders with big names in government, a good number of journalists have continued to transition to enviable positions in government.

    Some of these journalists include:

    Kanze Dena

    In October 2018, the then Citizen TV Swahili news anchor was appointed as the head of the Presidential Strategic Communication Unit (PSCU).

    In a statement by PSCU, the former anchor was tasked with leadership of the core communications teams, including digital, messaging, research, branding and press.

    Kanze was also tasked with focussing on the president's brand positioning, media relations and other communications necessary in respect to the delivery of the Big Four agenda.

    Kanze has become the face of presidential communications, updating the country on various issues associated with the presidency from State House.

    A past photo of head of the Presidential Strategic Communication Unit PSCU Kanze Dena.

    Munira Mohamed

    In June 2018, the former KTN reporter was appointed as the Deputy Head of the Presidential Strategic Communication Unit (PSCU) and Head of the Presidency Library.

    Mohamed was also tasked with the role to head all broadcast and media production.

    The former reporter who works under Kanze Dena was also given the role to lead a team tasked with designing and developing the presidential library.

    Carol Nderi

    In January 2018, the KTN reporter based in the Mt Kenya region was appointed by Nyeri governor Mutahi Kahiga as the county Head of Communications after an illustrious period as a journalist.

    By the time the reporter rose to the position, she was known to have established contacts with almost every newsmaker in the region bringing her fame to the ceiling.

    Before heading to the region, Nderi worked as a reporter at the station’s headquarters in Nairobi.

    Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke, Nderi termed the working for the county government as a challenge that helped her broaden her relationship directly with the public.

    "As part of the county government of Nyeri, I am able to interact more closely with the people. The role has helped me get a chance to understand Wanjiku better."

    "It posted its own level of challenges at first but being a journalist helped me understand how to relate with people efficiently," remarked Nderi.

    A photo of Nyeri county Head of Communications Carol Nderi. The former journalist worked at KTN.

    Richard Chacha

    The former NTV senior reporter lived to fight another day after Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho appointed him as the county  director of communications and public relations in November 2015 after leaving the media on unfortunate circumstances. 

    Chacha’s appointment rejuvinated his career considering that the senior reporter had also been a victim of a redundancy exercise at the Nation Media Group months after getting involved in a grissly accident that left him paralysed.

    In June 2018, Chacha together with Emmanuel Talam, Faith Kaimuri, and Ephantus Mwangi who were in the 2012 accident sued former NTV general manager Linus Kaikai for negligence since he was the owner of the vehicle involved in the accident.

    Governor Joho lauded Chacha as an instinctive reporter who had a high level of professionalism.

    Mombasa governor Ali Hassan Joho (Left) and former NTV reporter Richard Chacha in November 2015

    Dennis Onsarigo

    In July 2018, the long serving investigative reporter quit his role as a journalist after an appointment as the head of public communications at Taita Taveta county.

    Having worked as a journalist for 11 years, Onsarigo built his name as a committed journalist who started the popular investigative segment Case Files.

    Onsarigo who now works under a former media colleague governor Granton Samboja has been seen in various platforms actualising his appointment especially on creating a good image of the county to the media.

    In October 2019, the former journalist was vocal in ensuring that governor Samboja's impeachment debate was in the favour of the county chief.

    Samboja survived after the senate moved in to bring him back to office.

    Sabina Chege

    Before election as the woman representative for Murang’a county in the 2013 general election, Sabina was known as one of the first presenters to work for Kameme FM, a vernacular radio station owned by Mediamax Network Limited.

    During her time as a presenter, Sabina gained popularity as a journalist with the interest of the public at heart, a tact that came to bear fruits while she announced her political ambitions.

    Sabina also worked as a presenter at KBC-owned Coro FM.

    To date, Sabina has been an ardent supporter of President Uhuru Kenyatta, being part of women parliamentarians who formed the Team Embrace.

    Kennedy Muriithi

    In November 2017, Murithi who worked as a Parliamentary and Political Reporter at NTV was appointed as the communications director for Tharaka Nithi county.

    However Murithi only had a short stint at the county role as he returned to his reporting role in April 2018.

    The station reportedly called him back after a mass exit of renown reporters who moved to join Citizen TV.

    Wanjiku Kibe

    Before joining politics, the Gatundu North Member of Parliament was known for being an influential radio presenter who worked for Kameme FM.

    Wanjiku later grew in power at the station where she ended up as the Head of Radio before allegedly being sacked.

    Before her election as an MP, Wanjiku worked as a nominated Member of County Assembly at Kiambu county assembly.

    Wanjiku who was seen as an underdog in the Gatundu North polls managed to edge out big names in the race including the incumbent Kigo Njenga.

    Muriuki Mugo

    The former Kameme FM reporter for Kirinyaga County earned his role as head of Media liaison at Kirinyaga County immediately after the election of governor Anne Waiguru.

    Loved and hated in equal measure by the public for his mode of reporting, Muriuki attained the position ostensibly due to his influence that would help the county government run its operations smoothly.