News 2008


Now Maathai’s security detail reinstated

Daily Nation


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 was threatened.

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 your life).”

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 Maathai’s bodyguard

Published on March 5, 2008, 12:00 am

By Patrick Mathangani and Peter Mutai

The Government has reinstated Nobel Laureate, Prof Wangari Maathai’s bodyguard.

Tuesday, Maathai confirmed that her bodyguard, who was withdrawn soon after the December 27 elections, was reinstated two weeks ago.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 Laureate.

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.