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Mwingi CID ready to probe threats to Star journalist's life

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - 00:00 -- BY MUSEMBI NZENGU

The CID in Mwingi yesterday said they are ready to investigate claims of death threats to Star correspondent Lydia Ngoolo.

Mwingi Central district CID boss Charles Marangu said should Ngoolo, who has gone into hiding, record a statement with his office, the matter will be investigated. He however said the issue has not been brought to the attention of the CIDs. Marangu was speaking to the Star at the Mwingi Police Divisional headquarters. He was responding to a story in yesterday newspapers indicating Ngoolo has gone into hiding.

The reports said: "The Kenya Correspondents’ Association through the chairman, Oloo Janak, express concern and dismay over the threats to newspaper correspondent based in Mwingi.” KCA was quoted saying Ngoolo had been threatened by police, national government administration officials in Mwingi and area MP over a story on terrorism she wrote on April 28. The story alluded to a deserted house in Mwingi town suspected by locals to be a terrorist hide out.

However, before she went underground, she shared her fears with the Mwingi police boss Simon Birrir, who dismissed them as unfounded. Birrir said Ngoolo’s complaints were based on “hear-say evidence.” But when we visited his office yesterday, Birrir was unwilling to discuss the matter with the media. He referred us to Marangu, who said he will investigate it if Ngoolo makes a formal complaint.

He said he had asked Ngoolo to visit his office to record a statement on the claims in her story “but she failed to show up.” ends Ngoolo said she smelt a rat when any anonymous caller who mistook a colleague, who works for different daily, for her and delivered this warning: “We know you and that you are the person working with The Star Newspaper in Mwingi”. “The caller added in Kiswahili: Wacha kucheza na maisha yako msichana. Kwa nini ulituandika kwa paper. (Stop playing around with your life lady. Why did you write about us in the newspaper?),” Lydia said.