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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 2 November 2014

KISUMU SCRIBES FIGHT FOR SPACE IN TOWN

A man masquerading as a journalist has taken Kisumu town by storm given the manner in which he invokes names of senior police officers in the country to instill fear in local police whenever he wants to extort from them.
The quack scribe has become the talk of the town as journalists and a section of police officers have questioned his way of operation where he confidently invokes the names of top security officers with an aim of gaining favours and respect among regional police officers and the locals.
Names of Interior CS Joseph Ole Lenku, Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo and that of Grace Kaindi are among the names the man has frequently invoked to intimidate local police officers and other unsuspecting prominent personalities in an attempt to gain favour from his victims.
The crook has fashioned himself as the only journalist’ in the region charged with filing direct intelligence reports to the offices of Ole Lenku and those of other senior security officers based at Vigilance House, a move that has made him become a powerful individual in the corridors of Kisumu Police Station and Kisumu in general.
Sources privy to his operation say that the ever shabbily dressed quack walks around with fake press card confirming that he is a correspondent attached to the defunct, The Truth Weekly newspaper which was owned by a Gor Semelang’o.
It is also reported that the smooth-talking man has devised a way of accessing phone numbers of senior police officers and will always send an SMS to the numbers identifying himself as a  member of the Fourth Estate only to use responses from those numbers in confirming to his unsuspecting victims that indeed he is close to the chief security officers and enjoys private communication with them.
It is not clear whether Semelang’o is aware of the existence of a man who is using his company’s name with to extort money from members of the public.
One of his baffling ways of operations is intimidating traffic cops in seeking release of vehicles towed to the police station with traffic offences only for him to go round and pocket money from the vehicles’ owners.
Recently, there was a drama at the traffic department when he threatened to write what he termed as “a bad report’’ against the deputy traffic base commander after confusion ensued when he had gone to demand for the release of a Tuk-Tuk that was towed to the police station after a road accident.
An outcry has come from other departmental heads in the county who have been intimidated by a man whose chief intention is to fleece news sources.
In another baffling scenario, the journalist made an assurance to the recently transferred Kisumu OCS when he walked to his office and told him to ignore his transfer letter on allegations that he had handled his case with the Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo who promised to revoke the transfer.
It was until last minute that the OCS who had banked all his hopes on the journalist discovered that he had been duped by the man who even bid him goodbye in his last day in the office but with the assurance that the officer will soon be brought back in Kisumu.
The OCS was among the top officers who were concurrently sent packing in transfers targetted at the regional top officers at the height of soaring criminal activities in the region after it emerged that some rogue officers were colluding with criminals to terrorise Kisumu residents.
Another sector where the man is said to have enjoyed free services by virtue of his fake position is entertainment as investigations reveal that he frequently walks into night clubs, threatens club owners and prostitutes with “bad report” in exchange of free beers.
The con artist in a bid to remain steps a head of security promptly registered his safaricom line under false information and any money sent to him would always reflect his fake name as opposed to his official name.
Local journalists union under the umbrella Kisumu Journalists Network have disowned the man said to be tainting the image of the profession and has called for a stern action taken against him.
“Recently, I was baffled to be informed by part of my sources who called me with messages of quick recovery when the said quack walked into their offices and claimed good amount of money to pay as my hospital bill after he cheated I had been knocked by a vehicle. That was a real lie I have never been knocked by a vehicle and I am as fit as a fiddle,’’ said the journalist in total embarrassment.