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Namukabo Werungah speaks on assignment that nearly saw her killed alongside colleagues

I realized that we might not make it out of there alive - Namukabo Werungah

Namukabo Werungah

Award-winning journalist, Namukabo Werungah who has worked with leading media houses including BBC and NTV has opened up on an assignment in the line of duty in which she, alongside four colleagues nearly lost their lives.

Opening up on the incident on Saturday, February 3 2024, the journalist who works with New Humanitarian recounted that the team did its research and assessed the risks before leaving Nairobi for the assignment.

No sooner had the team started filming than they were accosted by rowdy youth armed with crude weapons.

"Within five minutes, we were surrounded by approximately 20-30 people. Initially, it was curiosity, but one person appeared agitated and suspicious of us.

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"We explained why we were there, but he didn't believe us and started making serious accusations. Suddenly, everyone in the crowd believed him, and things quickly became violent. We offered to leave, but they would not let us." She recounted.

The crowd, armed with crude weapons grew steadily and within minutes, Werungah and her colleagues were surrounded by about 100 youth who were baying for their blood.

Realising that they may not make it out alive

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The crowd used huge stones to block the vehicle’s path, ready to pounce on Werungah and her colleagues.

While pleading for their lives, an attempt to convince the crowd to take the journalist and her colleagues to the nearest police station or chief’s office only made matters worse.

"While pleading for our lives (at this time, we are surrounded by hundreds of people), we requested that they take us to the police rather than kill us. This aggravated them even more because it confirmed their suspicions that we were working with authorities. Our request to be taken to the area chief was met with the same hostility.

"Almost 20 minutes in, I realized that we might not make it out of there alive. I remembered the young bikers who were killed in Kajiado (NB: We were not in Kajiado), and I was almost certain we would go the same way." She added.

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Their harrowing ordeal came to an end after police responded quickly, with the Media Council of Kenya also involved in securing their freedom.

The accomplished journalist has an impressive career that has seen her win awards and grace the screens in several media houses with award-winning and compelling content.

She won the Journalist of the Year at the 2023 Annual Journalism Excellence Awards(AJEA).

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Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: news@pulselive.co.ke

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