A journalist with Standard Group in Malindi has asked the government to provide him with security after he received threats following a story he published on group of foreign criminals hiding in Malindi tourist town.
Paul Gitau said he have received threats from group of suspected Italians who warned to face consequences for publishing the story which they claimed damaged Italians community’s reputation in the area.
“I feel that my life is in danger and I appeal to the government to provide me with security because I don’t know the intention of the group that has threatened me,’ he appealed.
After publishing the story Gitau said he received calls from one of the Italian Investors in the area who claimed they were meeting over the story.
“We are very bitter following the story because it condemned the entire Italian community in the area we are going to deal with you consequently,” the caller was heard having been said.
However the scribe reported the matter to Malindi police station under OB number 80/2/7/2012.
Gitau went on to add that he had intelligence report that a group of 15 Italians in the area having been meeting for the last three days sine the article was published to discuss the way forward.
“According to a source who overheard the meeting which was held at one of Italians restaurant, Italians vowed to deal with me but did not disclose how, though some were opting to sue while others were opting to personally deal with me and others planned to counter the article through paid advertisements,” noted the worried scribe.
The group of Italians have since formed a committee to discus the matter on how to deal with the journalist who is wondering why the clique of Italians were annoyed by the story that referred to few crooks and not the entire Italian community as they claimed.
He questioned why only Italians were being concerned by the story and yet it also referred to other foreigners of other origin.
“Foreigners in Malindi are not only Italians why are they only the people complaining? If they are really operating genuinely as investors they should carry on their businesses because the story actually named nobody specifically at all,” he asserted.
Malindi police boss Kiprono Lang’at said he had not received any information over the matter but noted that if the report is made investigations into the matter will begin immediately in a bid to arrest the suspects.
Elsewhere Malindi pastors Association on Wednesday condemned the threats issued to journalists and called on the government to accord the journalist with maximum security.
Led by their Patron Bishop Thomas Kakala during a press conference at Malindi Jesus Care Centre they said the government should conduct a crack down and flush out all mafia hiding in the area.
“We don't know where we are because Al-shabaab is threatening our lives in churches, Italians now are threatening our journalist who report facts and make members of public to see the true picture of many dark deals, we are saying enough is enough something should be done to protect our citizens,’ said Bishop Kakala.
He said they had information of some of Italians residing in Malindi engaging in criminal activities including drugs and child prostitution.
They said if the Italians communities were biter about the article should expose their countrymen engaging in illegal activities instead of issuing threats to journalist.
“As much as the government encourages foreign investors in the country, they should respect the locals and desist from doing illegal activities. Even if they are billionaires but here they should have maximum respect to us and sing our music not coming here and start forcing us to sing their songs of drugs and child prostitution never,” added Bishop Kakala.
On his side Malindi MP Gideon Mung’aro said he was aware that some foreigners were hiding in the country while others engaged in criminal activities adding that he was liaising with immigration Minister over the matter which many feared to expose.
“Immigration Ministry and Security department will very soon conduct a major swoop of all foreigners engaging in criminal activities in the area,”said the Malindi MP.
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