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Kenya:Standard Group writer threatened by gunmen

By Alphonce Shiundu,Standard Media,11 October 2013

A Standard investigative journalist was trailed and threatened by unknown gunmen over his coverage of the pending cases at the International Criminal Court at The Hague and a multi-billion shilling procurement scandal playing out in the Office of the President.

Mwaniki Munuhe had just left a social meeting with his two media colleagues at a hotel on Thika Road on Friday night when he noticed a white car on his tail.

“I was with a friend. He was the one driving. Every time he accelerated, the car behind also accelerated. When we slowed down, it also slowed down. We decided to drive faster, but they kept up with our speed,” said Munuhe.

The duo drove into Munuhe’s home in Kasarani where he instructed the guards not to let the car, an old model Toyota Premio, in. The gunmen were not interested in getting into Munuhe’s compound. They just turned their car around, and waited.

As Munuhe got out of his car to open the gate, two gunmen jumped out of the white car and approached him.

“They both had long leather jackets. One had an AK-47 and another one had a pistol. They approached, guns drawn. I froze and looked at them,” Munuhe recalled.

The gunmen ordered him not to move and pushed the cold gun muzzles into his ribs and his back.

“Those ICC stories you have been writing, plus the one we hear you are following up at the Office of the President, you should stop!’” one of them told Munuhe in Kiswahili.

“Umesikia (understood)?”

They then forced Munuhe to open his gate and shoved him inside.

“I rushed upstairs to the rooftop to see if I could take the details of the car, but they had disappeared,” said Munuhe.

Munuhe remembers seeing one of the gunmen scrolling something that looked like a tablet, while all the time looking side to side.

“It was as if they were tracking something,” he said.

Shortly after the incident he called the police, who responded and took him to Kasarani Police Station where he recorded a statement. The incident was booked under OB 11/09/11/2013.

Munuhe is investigating a story on the long-winding procurement of multi-billion police surveillance and communication equipment. The tender is worth Sh20 billion. The project has been pending in the government books when the initial attempt at procurement was cancelled following the Anglo-leasing scandal.

The current police communication and surveillance equipment is old and obsolete.

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