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Dec 19, 2011

Mayoral Candidate’s employees receive death threats

Businessman Stephen Okeke, was running as an independent candidate for Belize City Mayor when that campaign came to a sudden end because he felt his life was in danger. Okeke has resumed his bid for mayor but today he had another startling announcement. He told the media that employees of his Joy Juice franchise were receiving death threats and some have even quit their job. Okeke believes all threats, including the first one he personally received, are politically motivated.

Stephen Okeke, Says Employees Received Murder Threats

“At that time, there were a lot of threats, but the first lead of the threat was by Alfonso Noble. He threatened that time that all my business would be destroyed, that the U.D.P. will hunt me down wherever they see me. Subsequently every threat I got was in that direction. But at that point it became so clear that they were going to hurt me. That’s why I had to come public. But after then, when the chairman of the party called on the radio and distanced themselves from the threat, confirming it was there but they distanced themselves—Belizeans came together and said you have to get back in there; we want you in the race. But then this time around, it began coming to my customers—I didn’t want to talk about it—I thought I could weather it.”

Jose Sanchez

Stephen Okeke

“So basically someone was watching your business and seeing who comes in and buy juice and threatening them?”

Stephen Okeke

“Yes threatening them, following them sometimes. Sometimes the customers say they won’t come back because they want to buy.”

Jose Sanchez

“But what kind of threats? They are telling them don’t buy juice?”

Stephen Okeke

“Don’t come here or we’ll hurt you. You know when you tell somebody in Belize something will happen to you, you know the interpretation. The idea they had given is that they would squeeze out anywhere I use to made money. But this time around, it came so bad that when I came this morning, some of the workers called; other came and said, boss look at the phone they called us restricted number four times and made it very clear that you can’t go back to work. The program is not to work with that guy. If you go to work with him, I will kill you.”

Jose Sanchez

“This is not campaign work cause these are actually the employees of your juice business.”

Stephen Okeke

“That’s why you see me took up the job for today to see how we can get at least two of the shops running.  One of them has been able to go to the police station to make a formal report.”

Jose Sanchez

“So at some point, people had several phone numbers for your employees at different locations?”

Stephen Okeke

“Maybe they found their way to get across the numbers—maybe through their friends or relatives.”

Jose Sanchez

“And it is hard for them not to work for you has anything to do with your running for mayor again? What do you think it is?”

Stephen Okeke

“Well what I was told originally was that they would strangulate any means I use to make any income. To me I have no problem with the threat they have made to me or the customers, but now to deny these people their means of making a living in this very tough time.”

Jose Sanchez

“I just heard someone say that they think you are delusional; that none of this is true.”

Stephen Okeke

“Well delusional. It’s a Belizean got a call; what has that got to do with me? It’s not me saying I was threatened. It’s this other number of people saying that they are threatened—look at the phone number, but the numbers are restricted, this is the message they got and these girls are shaking and you can see the dread in their eyes. You can’t insist they have to come and work when they don’t feel safe—you can’t insist that they should put their lives in danger when they have been told specifically that I will hurt you. And especially in Belize when someone say they will kill you, they will kill you.”

Okeke says he is determined and will not back down on his campaign to be the next mayor of Belize City.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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6 Responses for “Mayoral Candidate’s employees receive death threats”

  1. Rod says:

    We do not want any Nigerian running for anything especially illegal immigrants which he is this pm is letting in terrorist from Africa to garnish votes no Africans for for office get out of Belize.

  2. busha says:

    Rod, you foolish boy, where are you from you !@#$%^& fool… are you Belizean, and if so where are your people from… A Belizean is a Belizean period, fool… even if he’s not Belizean, if he can run for office then he’s probabbly naturalized (let me spell that out for you fool, he took an oath to become a Belizean), and he’s fed up like the rest of us, and if no one stands up to do better, what then?. Did you complain when the arab Musa ran for goverment or the Spanish Briceno. And you think Barrow is originally from these parts? None of us are from here foolish boy, we all ended up here, the difference between you and Okeke is that he has the guts to stand up and try to do something while you do nothing but stare at a screen and criticize… !@#$%^& fool. This is a global world now fool, and if someone thinks they can do better, let them be judged by the peoples court, not fools like your foolish stupid ignorant self.

  3. Earl Grey says:

    Jose Sanchez …..DID A GOOD JOB WITH THIS STORY….unlike CHANNEL 7…who was very very disrespectful to Mr. Okeke!!!

  4. Retired CEO says:

    Well said busha, same to you Earl Gray, the indivivdual @
    channel 7 came across as very arrogant/ignorant and narsisistic.

  5. busha says:

    @ Retired CEO, you meant the mighty Jules right, yeah, his “journalizm” leaves a bit to be desired. The guy basically tried to get the man man angry. Now i dont know all the history behind Okeke, needless to say I have some beautiful pieces of Mohagany art that he made, but Jules just irritated me from the get go. I really dont like his methods. The only thing he’s done of any value lately was the whole butane thing, and thats it.

  6. ProudBelizean says:

    Rod, don’t discriminate. Our Belizean Constitution states that a person can be a Belizean by two ways: by birth, or by naturalization (after meeting the criteria which is residing in Belize for a minimum of 5 years, by descent -meaning a parent is Belizean or by marriage).

    If we foster your kind of thought/discrimation, Rod, we only divide ourselves more. What they are allegedly doing this man and his employees is no right. Belizeans Unite.

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