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Why Jacob Juma accused me of plotting to kill him – Journalist

A story I wrote about a piece of land said to belong to the Horticultural Crop Development Authority but fraudulently acquired by Jacob Juma and former President Daniel Moi’s son was the genesis of claims that I was part of the team out to kill the businessman.

The story was based on a National Land Commission report. On December 2, 2015, NLC placed an advert in the Standard showing 717 titles to be revoked.

Among them was a nine-acre plot bought by Sakir Properties Ltd. Records from the Registrar of Companies indicated that the firm had nine shareholders with Jacob Juma having the highest number at 400.

I did investigations but before the story was published, sought the comments of Juma. I sent him three documents on January 10 through WhatsApp.

He called the same night and confirmed the documents were genuine. He then requested that I don’t write the story but said he would see me the next day.

I explained why the story had to be published and promised to capture his comments, then sent him a message on WhatsApp: “I would appreciate your comment. This story is for Tuesday. Good evening.”

The following day, I listened again to our recorded conversation. I wrote the story and quoted him.

On January 13, I submitted the story to the Nation Assignments Editor Bernard Mwinzi and copied it to Political Editor Bernard Namunane.

On January 25, the story was published on Page 10 of the Daily Nation.

That morning, I received calls from colleagues and friends informing me that Juma was saying I attempted to extort money from him.

“This writer called me on Sunday wanting a bribe to kill the story and I declined. William Ruto is using David Mugonyi, his communication secretary and former NMG journalist to malign my name first before the assassination.”

I was attacked on Twitter, prompting me to inform him that we communicated through WhatsApp and mobile phone and I had never asked for a bribe.

After I indicated that I had the recorded conversation, he began claiming that I was part of the team to assassinate him, adding that the story was published to tarnish his name.

From January 10 when I shared with him the documents up to the day the story was published, there was no complaint against me.

I did not understand how the initial allegations of extortion changed to plans to kill him.