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Francis Ontomwa

Nairobi, Kenya
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About Francis
Francis Ontomwa is a journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya. Francis is an experienced bilingual investigative journalist and senior broadcast journalist with over a decade of leadership in international broadcasting. As a launch producer for BBC's current affairs show Kenya Connects, I successfully oversaw the launch and mentored early career journalists. Recognized for my in-depth reporting on public corruption, consumer rip-offs, and crime, with extensive experience spanning across Africa. Awarded the Media Council of Kenya's Press Freedom Award in 2017. Skilled in overseeing budgets, resource allocation, and mentoring emerging talent. Proficient in producing impactful content for various media platforms, upholding journalistic integrity, and driving positive change. Adept at managing complex investigations, fostering collaboration, and delivering engaging stories that resonate with diverse audiences.
English Swahili
Video Package (Web / Broadcast) Audio package (Radio / Podcast) Interview (Video / Broadcast)
Politics Current Affairs Science & Environment

Kenya inks mission deal, violence erupts in Haiti

04 Apr 2024  |  standardmedia.co.ke
Kenya and Haiti have signed an agreement for the deployment of 1,000 Kenyan police officers to Haiti as part of a United Nations mission. The deal, witnessed by Kenyan President William Ruto and Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry, defies a previous court ruling deeming the deployment unconstitutional. Violence has escalated in Haiti's capital, with gang leader Jimmy Cherisier announcing an attack amid the Prime Minister's absence. Despite legal challenges, the Kenyan government remains committed to the mission, which aims to stabilize Haiti, currently facing lawlessness and economic crisis due to gang control. The UN Security Council authorized the mission, and Kenya's National Security Council, Cabinet, and Parliament have endorsed the deployment. Other countries have also pledged forces for the mission.

Kenyan Farmers Embrace Chinese-Engineered Grass for Fodder

09 Feb 2024  |  www.voanews.com
Kenyan farmers are exploring the adoption of Juncao, a Chinese-engineered grass, to address livestock feed shortages critical to food security in Africa. While the grass is promoted for its high yield and fast maturation, scientists urge caution.

Electrical Wires, Poles Pose Threat to Rare Birds in Kenya

13 Dec 2023  |  www.voaafrica.com
Kenya's raptor population is declining, prompting wildlife advocates to suggest the construction of bird-friendly infrastructure to prevent potential extinction. The report is from Nakuru, Kenya, with Francis Ontomwa as the correspondent and Amos Wangwa on camera.

Victims of Online Sextortion in Kenya Describe Ordeal

04 Nov 2023  |  voaafrica.com
Kenyan females are being targeted by online sextortion, a form of blackmail where perpetrators threaten to release sexual images or videos unless their demands are met. Victims shared their experiences with Francis Ontomwa, highlighting the emotional impact of such cybercrimes.

Victims of Online Sextortion in Kenya Describe Ordeal

10 Oct 2023  |  www.voanews.com
Kenyan females are increasingly becoming victims of online sextortion, a form of blackmail where perpetrators threaten to release sexual images or videos unless demands are met. The article features testimonies from victims who describe their harrowing experiences.

Kenya's Invasive Mathenge Menace Causing Untold Suffering

04 Oct 2023  |  voanews.com
Northern Kenya is experiencing its worst drought in 40 years, affecting over 5 million people. An invasive plant, known locally as Mathenge, is exacerbating the environmental, livestock, and livelihood problems in the region.

Invasive Plant Worsens Drought in Northern Kenya

01 Oct 2023  |  www.voaafrica.com
Northern Kenya is experiencing its worst drought in 40 years, affecting over 5 million people. The situation is exacerbated by an invasive plant that is causing further environmental damage, impacting livestock and livelihoods.

Looming crisis in public hospitals over shortage of medical interns

01 Oct 2023  |  www.standardmedia.co.ke
Kenya's public hospitals face a looming crisis due to a shortage of medical interns, which constitutes 27% of healthcare workers in public facilities. The Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU) warns that the absence of interns will cripple healthcare provision. The government and the union are at an impasse, with the union calling for a nationwide strike. The Ministry of Health requires Sh4.9 billion to deploy the current batch of medics, with an additional 4,000 new medical students expected to graduate in July. The situation has led to overworked doctors, delayed salaries, and strained healthcare services, with calls for expedited posting of interns to mitigate the crisis.

Kenyan Conservationists Propose Bird-Friendly Infrastructure as Species Decline

01 Oct 2023  |  www.voaafrica.com
Conservationists in Kenya are raising alarms over the decline of nearly all of the country's 103 species of raptors. To prevent possible extinction, they are advocating for the construction of bird-friendly infrastructure. This initiative aims to address the urgent need for conservation measures to protect these predatory birds.

TikTok Popular in Kenya, but Facing Backlash and Call for Ban

15 Sep 2023  |  www.voanews.com
TikTok, a widely used app in Kenya, is under increasing scrutiny for explicit content and hate speech. An activist has petitioned the Kenyan parliament to ban the app, despite its popularity among young Kenyans for entertainment, social connections, and income generation.

Kenya: How orphaned elephants' need for milk is empowering Samburu women

28 Aug 2023  |  www.bbc.com
The Reteti sanctuary in Kenya has switched to using goat's milk to feed orphaned elephants, finding it to be more nutritious and less costly than powdered baby formula. This change has also empowered Samburu women by providing them with a source of income, making them financially less dependent on their husbands.

Why are Kenyan pupils not getting enough sleep?

28 Aug 2023  |  www.bbc.com
Kenyan pupils, including very young children, are increasingly deprived of sufficient sleep due to a requirement to arrive at school by 06:30, despite classes not starting until 08:00. The Kenyan Government has stated that such practices are illegal and has promised to take action against schools enforcing these early start times.

Kenyans Consider Regulations on Religion as Cult Members Bodies’ Exhumed

08 Aug 2023  |  www.voanews.com
Kenyan authorities have exhumed over 400 bodies from graves associated with a cult, leading to a national debate on balancing religious freedom with the safety of worshippers.

Community Memorializes Kenyan Boxer Killed in Protests

20 Jul 2023  |  www.voanews.com
Kenya's opposition-led anti-tax protests in Nairobi have resulted in multiple deaths, including that of 35-year-old Bantamweight boxing champion Raphael Shigali. In his honor, Kenya's boxing community held an exhibition bout.

At 34, CEO has Achieved His Dreams But There's Hunger For More

15 Jul 2020  |  businesstoday.co.ke
Felix Mbugua, CEO and co-founder of Legibra Solutions Ltd, discusses his journey from starting the company without capital to its current success and expansion plans into Rwanda. Mbugua emphasizes the impact his work has on clients and employees, his personal growth and learning, and the importance of human resources in business. He reflects on his upbringing, education at Starehe Boys Centre, and the values instilled by his mother and Geoffrey Griffin. Mbugua aspires to touch lives and create growth opportunities for young people.

I Covered Ethiopian Airlines Crash and Learnt These BIG Lessons

04 May 2020  |  businesstoday.co.ke
Francis Ontomwa reflects on the challenges of reporting on tragedies such as the March 2019 Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed all 157 people on board. He discusses the ethical considerations and emotional toll on journalists who cover death and disaster, emphasizing the importance of empathy, minimizing harm, and allowing grieving families control during interviews. Ontomwa also highlights the role of journalism in mourning and the search for answers in the aftermath of such events.

Justice Aganyanya fought graft, cartels in Judiciary

26 Jan 2020  |  www.the-star.co.ke
Justice (Rtd) Daniel Kennedy Sultan Aganyanya, a former judge of the Court of Appeal, passed away on January 17, shortly before his 82nd birthday. Known for his integrity and battle against corruption in the Kenyan judiciary, Aganyanya's efforts are chronicled in his book, 'The Judicial Purge 2003 That Never Was.' Despite facing false accusations and a tribunal, he was exonerated from all charges. His commitment to justice and support for the physically challenged left a lasting impact. Aganyanya's legacy is a call to continue the fight against corruption.

Tradition that demands the dead be buried while seated

19 Oct 2014  |  www.standardmedia.co.ke
In Kakamega County, Kenya, the Angusu clan of the Idakho sub-tribe practices a unique burial tradition where the dead are buried in a seated position, believed to connect the living with the dead and ward off evil spirits. This practice, rooted in the customs of the Luhya community, has occasionally conflicted with Christian church leaders. The article details the specific rituals and cultural significance of these burial practices, highlighting the community's efforts to balance tradition with modern religious practices.

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