NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 28 – If someone came up to you and told you you’ll be dead and buried before sunset, you wouldn’t rest easy.
This would explain why an anonymous life threatening message warning that you will be ‘six feet under’ in a few days would leave you shaken.
A spot check with several police stations within Nairobi County reveals that hundreds of Kenyans have received messages threatening physical harm.
Already police are trailing the users of two notorious phone numbers within Nairobi, which have largely been used to send threatening messages to gullible Kenyans.
What should you do, in case you find yourself in such a situation?
– Case Studies –
Such a message took John to Kilimani police station where he expressed fear for his life. Being a businessman within the city; he did not want to take chances.
“Yani umefungwa macho na ukabebewa akili hata huelewi venye kunaenda. Utajuta mwenyewe (You must have been blinded and brainwashed not to know what’s going on. You’ll come to regret it),” the message read.
“I am very worried for my life. I don’t know whether it (the message) has come from thugs or business partners or,” a visibly shaken John told Capital FM News after recording a statement with the police.
He had received two messages from two different phone numbers and according to him; the first message was more toned down.
“Uko mjanja but hesabu kuanzia leo; siku tatu hazitaisha kama hujawekwa futi sita chini (You are cunning but you’ll find yourself six feet under three days from now,” the second message he received reads.
Ruth received a message identical to that of John except from a different number.
Ruth, an investigative journalist based in Nairobi, received the message while the country was reeling from the news that human rights lawyer Willie Kimani, his client Josephat Mwenda and driver Joseph Muiruri were executed by police in cold blood.
Ruth had told the story of a victim of police brutality.
“When I received the message and knowing what had happened to lawyer Kimani, I thought they were coming for me,” she said. “Actually, I thought in a few days I would be six feet under as threatened.”
In her case, Ruth did not report the threat to the police whom she mistrusts: “I used other contacts to investigate. But I was worried.”
Another victim was called by unknown people, who demanded money.
“It was at night and I was asleep when I received the call. The unknown caller, a man with a heavy voice, asked me to either send money or they would break into my house,” she narrated.
“The caller continued to call until my husband took his call and asked them to stop forthwith; it has worked so far.”