The Standard Newspaper ran a story late Feb 2006 claiming that president Mwai Kibaki and senior opposition figure Kalonzo Musyoka had been holding secret meetings. On 2 March at around 1:00 am local time, masked gunmen carrying AK-47s raided multiple editorial offices of The Standard, and of its television station KTN. The staff members were beat up, forcibly took computers and transmission equipment, burned all the copies of the 2 March edition of the newspaper, and damaged equipment.
They shut down the power, putting the station off the air. Initially, the Kenyan information minister claimed no knowledge of the raid, but it was since revealed that Kenyan police were responsible. The Ministry of the Internal Security later claimed that the incident was to safeguard state security. “If you rattle a snake you must be prepared to be bitten by it,” were the exact words of John Michuki.
Three journalists at The Standard were arrested after the critical story was printed. The story now also features the bizarre case of two Armenian businessmen, alias Mercenaries, were mocked in the press for their taste for heavy gold chains, watches and rings. The then opposition claimed the two led the raid and had shady dealings with Kibaki’s government.