Today I met with The Standard’s Wayne Mudekwa and he confirmed my suspicions. The African Union has been monitoring my blog along with The Standard’s online edition. And indeed, it was through my post last week that they were alerted to the Chinese arms shipment.
This is very bad news for me and I should have known this would happen. If I’d been more careful, I would have changed hotels long ago. When Mbantuwe spoke to me last week, he was upset that I’d given a report critical of the UFLL’s methods. But now I’ve written something that has directly affected their plans…and the APR’s. I don’t regret this. It is the journalist’s role to shine a light into the dark corners the public can’t see. It is my job to reveal facts that the public has a right to know.
I don’t know the price I’ll pay for this story. Mbantuwe may have already sent people to find me. I’ll need to be cautious at any checkpoints. Fortunately communication is terrible in this country. Most checkpoints won’t know enough to look for me specifically. They’ll examine my passport and let me on my way. At least this is what I’m counting on. It’s impossible to avoid checkpoints in this country.
Wayne has promised to help me in any way he can. He does this while he struggles to keep his own newspaper protected as they continue to publish stories critical of the emerging factions. While I was leaving today, he said the most interesting thing to me, “Do you know what I fear? I fear myself at 80 sitting in a comfortable rocker staring out my window. No bruises, no broken bones, no locker room stories. Just a quiet, old man who never bothered anyone.”