One of the AP officers kept taking photos of me and sending them to somebody via Whatsapp!
I left town on the night of Wednesday 10th January, after recieving threats on my life by goons who claimed to have been hired by the Kitui County governor. For a week, I went into hidding; during which I silently followed as the same goons carried out their threats to senior county officials.
I came back on the night of Wednesday 17th January, to follow up on a developing story;with only a few people aware of my presence in Kitui Town.
On Thursday at around 6.30 in the evening, I met with Mr Makasi,the former Kitui Mayor,at Kafoca Gardens Hotel. Mr Makasi was one of the people I was to interview that night, and we later changed the venue to Beach Club to conclude the interview with another key contact I’ll only identify as BQ for security issues.
I left Kitui Beach some minutes to 11.00pm and headed to my spare apartment in the company of this bodaboda guy who happens to be a loyal Kitui Newspaper reader.
I rented the flat early this month when the threats became more rampant, to keep my family safe, and only the land lady, Mrs Felistus Munanie, knew my real identity and my real job. I only spend at the apartment when I felt it unsafe to go home, lest I expose myself and my family to the fore-mentioned threats; and this was one of those nights.
Little did I know that the people after me had already discovered my hide-out and compromised the land lady!
At around 10.50pm, my bodaboda guy dropped me at the apartment’s gate. We found the gate locked, but could still hear the tv was on in the land lady’s house. I knocked on the gate,but recieved no response. I called the land lady but she disconnected my call. I dialed her number again severally, but she wad enganged in another call, after which she switched off her phone! The call, my investigations later revealed was to the administration officer she had been instructed to report my arrival to: one Mr Alex Kimanthi, of Majengo AP Post.
I called a cousin who lived nearby to come over and pick me so that I can spend the night at his place, and requested the bodaboda guy to atleast stay with me till I got safely into the house.
Barely five minutes after, five Adminstration Police officers appeared from the bushes adjacent to the apartments with all guns trailed at me. They knew who they wanted, and totally ignored both my cousin and the bodaboda guy to cuff me and attempt to whisk me away back to the bushes. My two companions refused to let them take me, and demanded they take me to the police station if I was under arrest. One of the officers looked unsure of whether I was their real target, severally taking photos of me and sending them to a whatsapp contact for confirmation.
They threw me into the back of a police cruiser and tied the tarpaulin tight all the way to the back. I sat next to Mr Alex Kimanthi and another officer who kept shielding his face away from my gaze. The cruiser drove round for around an hour, but my cousin and the boda guy were trailing them all the time. At one point the nervous officer ordered the vehicle to stop and demanded a word with one lady officer who seemed to be the one in charge. A short heated exchange ensued, in which I overheard the officer in his outburst declare, “Hii operation imeanza kuleta noma, mimi siko tena. Kama hamtaki kuji-mess afande pelekeni hii mtu station mkaache huko! “
With that, the cruiser drove off, without the nervous officer climbing on board.
We got to the Kitui Police station at around 1.30am, after ridding for more than an hour in the back of a tightly-hooded police trooper. I hurriedly got booked in the OB for creating disturbance and drunk and disorderly charges. My cousin and the boda boda guy had followed the cruiser to the station and I assured them that I was out of danger now in police custody, hence released them to go home.
The Morning after:
I was awoken early by concerned friends and relatives who had come to see me in the cells. At around 10.00AM, a dark tall officer called me out of my cell. He claimed he had been assigned to my case,but witheld his name from me. I told him I wanted bail, but he just ignored me as he pushed me forward to the crimes office. To my utter surprise, the land lady and the AP officer Mr Alex Kimanthi were already seated waiting for me. A hand-written document was pushed towards me to sign: a case withdrawal request! But before I signed I questioned why the case was being withdrawn, and what was expected of me. The first question was ignored but the I was briefed that it was a must to pay for the fuel used last night, plus “chai ya wazee”.
The price was fixed already, and nobody was willing to talk to me about it, as I deduced from the silence I got out of every question I asked. The booty was to surrender the amount I had been arrested with, which I had submitted at the OB desk the previous night before going into custody: Four Thousand Two hundred and fifty Shillings, to be precise.
I didn’t resist when the officer purpotedly assigned to my case took the cash reciept I’d been given after submitting the cash at the OB desk. I just signed the document and walked out a free man again.
What beats me is: who is so desperate to eliminate me? If I really had committed a crime, why was I not arraigned in court as the law requires? Who was the officer sending my photos to, and why? Between 11.00 pm and 1.30am, what were the officers waiting for driving me around in a tightly-hooded trooper; where did they plan to take me, and for what mission?
Dear Kitui Newspaper readers, I have enough reasons to feel my life is in danger. Some very influential people are threatened by my history and possibility of unearthing scandals in the county government. I request your prayers and support, and call upon the National government to provide enough security for me and my family.
Thank you to all who have stood by me as we fight to liberate the truth and independence of the media.