Hot on the heels of winning the Investigative Reporting Award in the Annual Journalism Excellence Awards (AJEA) 2021, Waihiga Mwaura has earned plaudits from British High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Marriot.
Speaking during the Kenya Editors’ Guild Press Club in Nairobi, Jane Marriot praised the Citizen journalist for holding public officials to account.
Speaking from a personal experience, the envoy said Waihiga Mwaura asks difficult questions as required of journalists.
“You will all recall the fire in March that started in Loldaiga Conservancy. It was not our best moment. We invited Waihiga to my house, and he put me through my paces. It was uncomfortable. He was asking difficult questions. It was not the most enjoyable interview I have ever done in my life.
“But I completely defend Waihiga’s right, and your collective right, to ask those questions and hold us to account. That is what the media is there to do, and we’re all better for it,” she said.
Marriot noted Kenya is fortunate to have a vibrant and diverse media with well-trained journalists who are determined to get to the truth.
She said some of the exposés which have come to light during the COVID-19 pandemic have illuminated challenges that the media fraternity faces.
The British envoy observed that Kenyan journalists have a huge task in the next 18 months as Kenya approaches a constitutional referendum and an election.
“We need an independent and sustainable media, with laws, policies and professionals to serve society. We need investigative journalists who spend days – weeks, months – getting to the real heart of stories,” Marriot said.
Adding: “A free press forms a foundation for economic prosperity, for social development, for more open and inclusive societies. The open exchange of information allows economies to flourish.”
And I hope @WaihigaMwaura of @citizentvkenya enjoyed his shout out for holding me to account!
— Jane Marriott (@JaneMarriottUK) May 11, 2021