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Salim Swaleh's Biography: Early life, Iran journey, family, media success & scandals

Salim Swaleh, former NTV presenter and current Director of Communications for Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi, was arrested for alleged impersonation, fraud, and abuse of office.

Salim Swaleh - The Director of Communications in the office of Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi
  • Salim Swaleh, former NTV presenter, and Director of Communications for Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi has been arrested for alleged impersonation, fraud, and abuse of office
  • He had a challenging childhood in Nakuru County, faced financial constraints, and dropped out of school due to financial difficulties
  • His career progressed from community radio to international experience in Iran before he eventually came back home and joined Citizen TV.

Salim Swaleh is a prominent figure in Kenya's media landscape, known for his work as a journalist and his recent involvement in government communication.

His journey from a challenging childhood in Nakuru County to becoming the Director of Communications in the office of Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi is marked by perseverance and resilience.

Salim Swaleh was born and raised in Bondeni, Nakuru County, in a polygamous family. His father had three wives, and Salim had two siblings: One from his mum and the other from one of his stepmothers.

Growing up in the bustling environment of Bondeni, Salim experienced the typical challenges of urban life. He attended Bondeni Primary School but had to drop out in fourth grade due to financial constraints.

To support the family, he worked alongside his grandmother, cooking and selling chapatis, mandazis, and samosas. By the age of 12, he was already contributing significantly to the household income.

At 14, Salim's life took a turn when his mother returned to Nakuru and remarried. This change allowed him to resume his education. He enrolled in Nakuru Primary School and advanced directly to class seven.

He performed well in his class eight exams and secured a spot at Menengai High School. Despite struggling with mathematics, which once earned him a zero in form three, Salim persevered and completed his high school education.

After high school, Salim joined Mwangaza College in Nakuru to study Mass Communication.

This education opened doors to the media industry, and he landed a job at Ghetto FM, a community radio station. Although the position was unpaid, it provided him with valuable experience.

His first significant break came when he joined Sauti ya Mwananchi Radio, where he earned a modest salary of Sh8,000 but had the opportunity to hone his skills by hosting five different programs.

In 2008, Salim and his then-colleague Njoroge seized an opportunity to work in Iran. The following year, Salim enrolled at Tehran University to pursue a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

This international experience enriched his understanding of the media and broadened his professional horizons.

Salim found a wife, Sharifa from Gilgil Kenya, and the couple moved back to Iran.

They have three children together. When their firstborn was around four years old, the family decided to return to Kenya.

Sharifa's support was instrumental in Salim’s career and personal life.

Salim’s career took another leap when he joined Citizen TV in 2016, eventually becoming the head of the Kiswahili News Desk by 2017.

In 2018, Salim transitioned to NTV as an editor and anchor. His expertise and dedication were recognised, leading to his appointment as the Chief Officer for ICT, e-government, and Public Communication in Nakuru County in 2020.

In 2023, Salim was appointed Director of Communications in the office of Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi.

However, his career faced a significant setback in June 2024 when he was arrested in connection with a fraud scheme at Mudavadi's office.

The case involves impersonation, fraud, and abuse of office charges. The suspects, including Salim, were accused of allowing a group of imposters to gain access to the Railways Building by posing as VIP guests or government officials.

The scheme primarily targeted foreigners, promising them favours and soliciting bribes.

Investigations revealed that the fraudsters were supported by certain government officials who facilitated their illegal activities.

The arrest of Salim and others was based on a tip-off, and the case has since been a major talking point in Kenyan media.

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: news@pulselive.co.ke

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