Award-winning investigative journalist John Allan Namu narrated how his exposé on Rwandan genocidaire Félicien Kabuga affected his family.
Speaking on NTV’s ‘Singleton Stories’ on Sunday, April 11, Allan Namu said he started receiving threats after gathering evidence on a tip from a friend that Kabuga was hiding in Kenya.
“We go out and started following his trail picking clues. I go back and share my evidence with my boss. It goes through the editorial committee… Then I start to receive threats, some of my sources have been threatened,” Namu recounted.
The threats started even before the expose had aired.
The journalist said he had to take his children out of school and into a safe house for about two months. His wife, Sheena Makena, also had to take a three-month leave.
“For two months while I was doing the story, my wife and my two children at the time were in the safe house with me. I had to pull them out of kindergarten which wasn’t a big deal, but my wife had to leave work to take care of them, which was a big deal,” said Namu.
The journo revealed that the threats ultimately cost his wife her job.
“She went on leave for the first month, then unpaid leave for the second month. Just as we were releasing the story, we took off to another country. While we were in hiding, she lost her job,” he narrated.
After the exposé had aired, Namu said his story fell apart after Kenya police revealed the true identity of a man in a photograph that Namu had reported was Kabuga.
“Here is this man, wearing the exact same T-shirt that I had in that photograph and it is a businessman from Isiolo. It hit me very hard because when I got into this profession, I wanted to do things right. This was by far, up until that point, the biggest story I had ever done, and I got it wrong,” said the journalist.
“My wife was a huge pillar of support for me. That was my burning house moment,” admitted Allan Namu.