Now Maathai’s security detail
Story by MUCHIRI GITONGA
Publication Date: 3/5/2008
The Government has reinstated the security detail of Nobel Peace
laureate Wangari Maathai more than a month after withdrawing it
under unexplained circumstances.
The return of her bodyguard comes barely two weeks after she wrote
to the commissioner of police, Maj-Gen Hussein Ali after her life
Prof Maathai had received death threats through short text
messages on her mobile phone and that of her personal assistant.
The message, purportedly by the outlawed Mungiki sect, was
allegedly provoked by her stand on the mediation talks under the
leadership of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan. However,
Prof Maathai said other groups may have taken advantage of the
situation to send the message.
The message said: “Because of opposing the Government all times,
Prof Maathai we have decided to look for your head very soon. You
are number three after Were, chunga maisha yako (Watch out for
Prof Maathai told the Nation that after reporting the threats at
Central Police Station, two officers went to her office and
recorded statements from her and her employees. “The threats were
continuous and were being channelled through my staff,” she said.
The following day, as she was leaving for Norway to attend the
opening of the global seed vault, she realised that a security
officer had been assigned to her.
The security officer was at the airport when she returned to the
country on Sunday.
The former Tetu MP and Environment assistant minister said the
threats on her life could not have come from Mungiki, but from
other groups unhappy with her position on the political crisis
that gripped the country after President Kibaki was declared the
winner in last year’s General Election.
Other Kenyans, including human rights activists and journalists,
also received threats at the height of the political crisis.
Now police reinstate
Published on March 5, 2008, 12:00 am
By Patrick Mathangani and Peter Mutai
The Government has reinstated Nobel Laureate, Prof Wangari
Tuesday, Maathai confirmed that her bodyguard, who was withdrawn
soon after the December 27 elections, was reinstated two weeks ago.
She said he returned the day she held a news conference after
receiving threats to her life. Her personal assistant had also
received similar messages.
Maathai previously had two bodyguards; one given to her in her
capacity as the Tetu MP and another because she was a Nobel
However, the first one was withdrawn when she lost the Tetu seat
in the General Election while the second one was withdrawn in
January at the height of post-election violence.
She, however, said the police were yet to tell her why her
bodyguard had been withdrawn and why he was being reinstated.