- Posted December 1, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
The Africa we don't see
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Quincy Timberlake Threatened in Anonymous Letter from Government Official
WARNING: VIDEO WITH DISTURBING SCENES (above)
Controversial politician cum businessman Quincy Timberlake has revealed that he received a letter warning him of “dire consequences,” including arrest, arbitrary detention, torture and possible murder, for his attacks on the Kenyan government and for his knowledge of the whereabouts of Rwandan fugitive Felicien Kabuga.
The 2-page letter, a copy of which was obtained by our office, bears the subject, “Do Not Come Back to Kenya.” Its anonymous author states that he is a government officer blowing the whistle on elaborate plans by the government and Timberlake’s in-laws to bribe Malaysian and Indonesian government agents to confiscate his passport so that he can be deported back to Kenya where he would be tortured and killed. Timberlake informs this writer that he spent a few months in both Malaysia and Indonesia this year, pursuing, “business interests.” The letter was sent to his email address during the period of his stay. “I had to prematurely wind up what I was doing and flee back to Australia,” Timberlake told reporters on Monday. “I take such threats seriously.”
Timberlake has recently published widely-circulated articles on social media, harshly criticizing the Kenyan government about various issues including its handling of the Westgate Mall crisis and its attempts to subvert the cases at the International Criminal Court in which Kenya’s president, Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto are being tried for crimes committed in the violence following the 2007 election.
Asked over the phone whether he would tone down his criticism of the government as a result of the threat, Timberlake was emphatic.
“This is not going to stop us. They can make all the threats they want. Placenta Party of Kenya is determined to keep this government accountable. Kenyans are not getting what they voted for. Civil society and media are operating in fear right now. They are afraid of repercussions if they speak out. We are not media and we are not civil society. We will never be silent. We are not afraid to speak the truth. The spirit of democracy is not a mechanical thing to be adjusted by abolition of forms. It requires change of heart. Our leader is a dictator at heart and I am not afraid of saying it.”
The letter implicates a number of individuals and security organizations in the plot including the Special Crimes Police Unit (CID), the Police boss, a local pastor, a High Court judge, Rwandese fugitive Felicien Kabuga amongst others. It details plans to kidnap Timberlake after his deportation to Kenya with the help of a pastor and corrupt police. “You will then be driven to a location where Kabuga will be waiting….you will be ordered out of the car and your hands tied with a telephone cable, after which you will be viciously beaten with wooden bars in a bid to extract information about what you have told Western governments about the location of Kabuga.” The letter states.
It continues, “You will be beaten thoroughly to teach you not to insult the government and the police….you have to be tortured for your sins…the team will subdue and kill you by cutting you to pieces and hacking you to death.”
Activities that subjected me to significant harm are as follows:
- -it arbitrary deprived me of life
- -the death penalty was rampant in my stay in Kenya
- -torture was made to sound like my new surname by the government
- -cruel or inhuman treatment or punishment was my daily meal
- -degrading treatment or punishment especially by media led to my PTSD.
The letter ends with a plea from the writer for Timberlake to destroy the letter immediately to avoid it being traced as the writer fears for his life.
The chilling contents of the letter reveal high-level corruption within government, police and judiciary ranks. It marks a sinister deterioration in the government’s attempts to suppress criticism at all costs and flags a return to repression that marked the Moi era.
This is not the first time the government has been accused of employing brute tactics to instil fear in critics. In October this year, police issued summons to two journalists after their explosive reports unveiled Kenyan Police looting from the Westgate Mall. The president subsequently approved a repressive bill, imposing hefty fines on journalists for violating a code of conduct.
Timberlake is who is currently residing in Melbourne, Australia, is married to former KTN news anchor Esther Arunga. He has expressed interest in running for president in the 2017 elections.