John Allan Namu reveals the darkest moment of his life
In an interview with a local daily, Mr Namu for the first time spoke about an investigative piece he did in 2012, which turned out to be 'false'.
In the piece titled In The Footsteps of Felicien Kabuga, Mr Namu was trying to determine the whereabouts of a suspected Rwanda genocide supporter, Félicien Kabuga, who it was believed he was hiding in Kenya.
“I am not sure I have ever spoken about this on the record before. Félicien Kabuga was a suspected genocide supporter. He was accused of financing, inciting and supplying weapons during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
“He had never been found but suspicion was that he was hiding in Kenya. I was trying to determine his location," Namu mentioned.
In his investigation, the former KTN news anchor established that Mr Kabuga, who has a $5 million bounty on his head, was at an undisclosed location in the country.
Namu found pictures proving the same and compiled the investigative piece, which aired on a national television station.
“After months of investigation, we thought we had proof through a photo that placed him in Kenya,” he said.
However, after broadcasting it, a 69-year-old man came out claiming that he was the person in the photos used by Namu.
“I remember my world just stopping. First to think that I could have ruined this innocent man’s life, and second because my entire credibility, not just for this story, but for every other story I had told, the journalist said.
Namu highlighted that Kabuga’s story, which forced him and his family to flee the country, almost drove him into quitting journalism.
However, his support system which includes his wife was what grounded him.
“Despite the fact that we had to go into hiding for three months, instead of castigating me for following this dangerous story and apparently getting it wrong, she stood by me.
“She talked me out of one of the darkest periods in my life,” he added.
Nonetheless, the award-winning journalist still believes that Kabuga could be protected by powerful individuals.
"We all follow stories. We all know that sometimes things go wrong because we didn’t do our due diligence and sometimes they go wrong because something more powerful is protecting the subject we’re trying to expose," the reporter remarked.
Namu walked out on mainstream media in 2015 and delved into developing his media company, Africa Uncensored.
He hopes to one day win a Pulitzer Prize through the stories he tells.
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