Citizen TV's Swaleh Mdoe Opens Up on Saga That Almost Got Him Deported

  • File Photo of Citizen TV Anchor Swaleh Mdoe During His Past News Presenting Session
    File Photo of Citizen TV Anchor Swaleh Mdoe During His Past News Presenting Session
  • Swaleh Mdoe, a seasoned broadcast journalist and news anchor at Citizen TV, has opened up on a saga that almost got him kicked out of the country.

    In October 2006, Mdoe was waylaid and apprehended by law enforcement officers drawn from the Department of Immigration who wanted him to respond to queries on his citizenship status. At the time, he was working at KTN TV.

    Mdoe was escorted by a contingent of security officers to Kilimani Police Station where he was questioned and held temporarily before he was transferred to Kileleshwa Police Station.

    File Photo of Citizen TV Anchor Swaleh Mdoe During His Past News Presenting Session
    File Photo of Citizen TV Anchor Swaleh Mdoe During His Past News Presenting Session
    Citizen TV

    The incident attracted public outcry, forcing other journalists to stage protests demanding his immediate and unconditional release. Eventually, he was released but the case to establish his citizenship proceeded in court.

    Speaking to about the ordeal, Mdoe narrated that the question on his citizenship was fanned by individuals who had personal vendetta against him.

    Reports at the time indicated that he was not a Kenyan, but a Tanzanian from Zanzibar and that he was working in Kenya unlawfully. 

    During the dramatic apprehension, the law enforcement officers wanted to deport him to Zanzibar.

    "The case was started by people who had something personal against me. People who did not have facts to prove their allegations," Mdoe told

    But after 9 months of court battles, the High Court in Mombasa threw out the case for lack of evidence.

    "Those were just rumours. I am one hundred per cent Kenyan. The officers failed to prove otherwise and kept asking for more time to table evidence before the court. High Court in Mombasa eventually threw out the case," he added.

    After the case was thrown out, Mdoe was contemplating suing the nation for compensation. However, his lawyer advised him to just let it go.

    Since then, Mdoe has grown to become a household name in Kenya. He is one of the most sought-after prolific Swahili anchors having joined the industry in 1991.

    He has also been a news contributor for international media houses such as London-based shipping magazine, Ports International (1997-2002), Los Angeles Times (US), Uhuru and The Express newspapers both of Tanzania, among others.

    He has wide experience working for several media houses in the country including Kenya Times, Standard Newspapers, The Message, Weekly Mail, BBC, Nation TV, and KTN.

    His ace is humour. This has been portrayed in his chit-chat narrations during news hours giving viewers anecdotes on the Tafakari ya Babu (grandfather's perspective) segment. The segment has become his trademark.

    Mdoe has also bagged a number of awards including Favourite TV Male Presenter Award for three consecutive years 2003, 2004, 2005. In July 2009, he was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador of Culture by Jamhuri Peace Foundation, a programme under UN-Habitat.

    The alumni of Malaspina University College, Canada and Malaspina University College, Canada, has published a number of books including Fumbo La Hadaa, Nachora Kwa Maneno, and Tafakari Ya Babu among others.

    Right now, he remains one the undisputed kings of Swahili reporting in the country.

    File Photo of Citizen TV Anchor Swaleh Mdoe
    File Photo of Citizen TV Anchor Swaleh Mdoe
    Citizen TV