BY LONE FELIX first posted onÂ July 20, 2012 at http://lonefelix.wordpress.com/about/
I have completed reading Miguna Migunaâ€™s book: Peeling back the Mask; a quest for Justice in Kenya a second time, coincidentally, it is barely a week after I completing my training on editing and writing. Among the many lessons I acquired, one was, show donâ€™t tell.
My reading the book twice has nothing to do with my liking of its content, but I attempted to go through it with an objective look. It was hard; this is since I have built preconceptions against the Author for a while.
I first had trouble with Miguna Miguna when I read his articles in the aftermath of confirmation hearing, then, he was a columnist in The Star. I found it bizarre, that Miguna, an advisor on Coalition Affairs to the PM would use a language that bordered â€œfoulâ€ in his criticism of Hon. Ruto and Hon. Uhuru.
Miguna then termed Uhuru as an intellectually docile person who had never been above average in class and termed Ruto a political adolescent. This was disrespectful in the least. But on another scale, I thought it jeopardized the continuity of Coalition government.
The first time the public were treated to an open disagreement between the PM and his advisor was when Miguna wrote an article critical of Isaack Hassan the chairperson then Interim Independent Electoral Commission. The office of the PM through his Chief of Staff, Caroli Omondi sought to make it clear that Migunaâ€™s writings were his opinion and not representative of the Office of the Prime Minister. Miguna would later allege that he wrote everything at the behest of the PM.
His language ran into trouble with the management prompting a cover writing by Elsderkin in his defense. If I can recall well, Elsderkin, the very person who has led an on slaughter on Migunaâ€™s work called him intelligent, committed, sharp though sometimes combative.
And certainly she was right. Miguna is hugely intelligent, his work, even other literal work carries a lyrical prose enviable by any writer. A man, who has found a footing to have a multi-million residence in the Runda suburb after being a poor asylum seeker, deserves credit.
When he opines, on governance, policy and his pan Africansist holding, you will admire Miguna. I loved his vivid contributions as the constitution reform process unrolled itself to completion. Miguna is certainly a scholar.
Reading Peeling Back the Mask, I still think Miguna was fair to his master, Odinga and to who he will remain loyally bound till death, my opinion. The Miguna I had come to be accustomed to would have gone beyond revealing Railaâ€™s sexual escapades and corruption. He did not, this could be for two reasons; he still retained a delusional thought that he could mend fences with his master or he never had anything beyond the snippets he generously justifies in his book.
If you read Migunaâ€™s book, you will understand him. I find him honest, entirely honest. In fact, Miguna offers me a lesson I would never forget in my life, your past can unravel itself into your future with such concise resonance that you fail to understand.
I, born when the chains of Moiâ€™s totalitarianism had ebbed, would be ungrateful if I fail to salute his contribution to the liberation. Albeit short lived, a man capable of standing up to the sighs of death for a belief is worth applause. It is this regard that makes me restrained in criticizing Kiraitu Murungi, Willy Mutunga, Raila Odinga, Martha Karua, Koigi wa Wamwere, Gitobu Imanyara and their likes.
I relish the freedom of thought, I enjoy it and I know I owe it to the Migunas who defied complacency.
Before opining on the Book, I think Miguna is justified by all rules, whether natural or the laws of Kenya to opine, and so are his sharp tongued critics, and so is I to write and express. In fact, just like my great friend Charles Wafula, Chair Youth Initiatives Kenya, this guy coincidentally shares two names with my late dad: I like people who write things that touch on national interests. I like reading biographies and autobiographies. They help chronicle the journey this country has travelled, the pitfalls it has avoided and the roles played by different people. I donâ€™t like people who donâ€™t write. This is the tiff I have with Mzee Kibaki. I really hope he gets to write before he departs. This is the â€˜sinâ€™ I will need grace to forgive Kanyotu, who, having being the spymaster for Kenyatta, Moi and even Kibaki, went to the land of his forefathers without leaving behind even a stick-it note! Am thankful to those who have been able to write, people like Moi, Jaramogi, Githongo, Nyachae, Kiraitu, Joe Hamisi, Koigi, Ndegwa (1st CBK Governor), Kalembe and of course Raila in his book An Enigma in Kenyaâ€™s Politics, in which he also reveals some â€˜funnyâ€™ things about other people. Thanks Miguna for writing. I really love your prowess in lyrical prose.
Equally, I know that those adversely mentioned have a right to reply and even take Miguna to Court. They are not obliged to take bashing laying low. And when you have ambition, like Raila does, he has a right to respond to the allegations. If he chooses to respond in silence or through his agents, I do not know.
My response here may be riddled with my own preconceptions, I have lots, but I have endeavored to be strictly objective.
One thing we all need to agree on, is that the book is about Raila Odinga. I was disappointed when Miguna while on TV denied this and tried saying it was his memoirs. I guess Miguna forgot what he wrote in the book. â€œThat Raila was the motivation of the book, and that his intention was to (hopefully) show the deception that Odinga has all along been.
I have my â€œbeefsâ€ against Miguna. The incorporation of his personal struggles in such a sensationalized memoir has robbed him a chance of being a sincere motivation to other Jaâ€™Nyandoâ€™s. I love his struggles. The man never saw his father. I guess I know the feeling, growing up never to have a father pat your back.
Living with an uncle and pulling a plough in the thick of the morning and later, being clubbed to near death. Few, arise from this abyss of nothingness into advising the PM. I wish Miguna had written his story before, or separate of this political murkiness he lumped himself into.
Is Miguna bitter? Yes he is.
Does it matter?
No it does not.
Miguna, I guess wrote this book with several things in mind. He intended to annihilate Railaâ€™s political supremacy, which he will not, secondly appease his ego and probably profiteer from the sale or the rage that will follow thereafter.
Reading through the book, I was tempted to believe Miguna was not writing the book for Kenya. In his description of his origin, culture and escapades, Miguna paints Kenya as an illustration of failure and sustained pretence.
I would love to believe he wanted to be conscious of his non Kenyan audience, that is why you will find â€¦Luo, the tribe which I come fromâ€¦ in his writing, but it tells of what he anticipated. He either saw a market out of Kenya or it was an avenue of creating chances for asylum.
I have no way of ascertaining Migunaâ€™s claims. I believe though the book is mixture of truisms and falsities in equal measures. I will comment on what my mind is clear on and recede to my subjectivities when judging what I do not know.
Miguna paints Raila as a man with an acute deficiency in organizational capacity. He cites several scenarios when Raila popped up into great occasions without speeches. He could be right. Admittedly, even Orengo noted that his boss was near dysfunctional when it came to matters organization. Whether the bloated incapacity is true according to Miguna; that will be a matter of judgment.
When I read Migunaâ€™s analysis of the pre 2007 ODM nominations and situation, I thought he openly lied or was a distant contributor who did not have a proper comprehension of the ODM maneuvers.
His allegations that Odinga rigged the nomination are false. This is based on two things, after Kalonzoâ€™s departure it was clear that Raila would be the de facto nominee of ODM. And while there were nominations at Kasarani, the truth is that there werenâ€™t.
Indeed it was stage managed, Nyaga and Balala conveniently stepped down for Raila but equally the number of votes Ruto got did not match the deluges from Rift Valley. It is understood he, Ruto, conveniently asked his delegates to back Raila. Raila subsequently had the backing of Nyanza, Rift, Coast, Eastern, Central and a bulk in the western delegates.
I equally find Miguna pharisaical. He goes into the pretentious apology of his inability to report purported rigging to the authorities.
Miguna displays an amazing lack of judgment, a contradiction of himself.
When he started his book, he rightly says he is incorporating himself because to understand why he was writing; his readers could not divorce his person from the context. He seems to me here, as appreciating that his writing is suspect, but justifiable or excusable by his person.
The Miguna who he paints is a boy who ran out into darkness and away, requested for a lift from a stranger and endured 8 hours night journey to run away from physical abuse; A man who resisted the allure of visiting the state house when money flowed from it. Miguna is supposed to be a man who is incorruptible, incapable of enduring graft.
But here, he supposedly meets Caroli ferrying 54 million in cash, Golden berg money, yet his heart is still blindfolded. Raila refuses to tell him thank you after coughing over $48,000 yet he trusts he will change. Raila refuses to act on the Maize and triton scandals yet he continues hoping and this hope vanishes immediately after being fired?
This is a contradiction. A contradiction of who Miguna is. His being at the beck and call of Jakom, sweetened and polite Jakomoing of his response to Raila, Jakom this, no jakom, jakom that: his deep loathing of the man today shows that Miguna saw Raila as a deity, as his own salvation, not Kenyaâ€™s and his is a sincere expression of disappointment.
Why would I suggest that Raila is Migunaâ€™s deity. I keenly watched the guy after being fired; he lamented, Raila, he had paid Railaâ€™s business class ticket, served Raila, Fought to the ground Railaâ€™s imagined enemies, wrote Railaâ€™s speeches, Raila came before his wife, He would book a flight when Raila called, stop packing and join jakom.
Strangely, Miguna cannot claim he did this because of the struggle. He is an ambitious man. He wanted to go to parliament and knew the easiest way was Raila. He, Miguna was an assumed Luo warrior, coming back from the Diaspora to size down other tribes. After all, Luos had been maligned and subjugated, and in his own words, his and the thoughts of other Luos elites, according to Miguna, I doubt whether the Luo elite met and discussed this, was that they could endure Railaâ€™s high handedness as long as the communityâ€™s interests would be served betrays the ideals he stood for.
Miguna rudely discovered otherwise. He ranked low in Railaâ€™s priorities. I love this: â€œThere are personal, as well as ideological reasons, that people will devote their energies to helping others get to power. At its most rudimentary, they expect a â€œthank youâ€, and if possible, an opportunity to be considered for employment. I toiled in the trenches for Raila from 2006 to March 2009 absolutely pro bono. There are those who are aware that I spent tens of millions of my own money in order to fight for change; firstly for Kenyans including myself, but secondly for Raila. These are undeniable facts.â€
What Miguna discloses, unconsciously I believe, is the fact that his involvement in Railaâ€™s affairs was fueled by a possibility of jakom holding his hand to the corridors of power. Raila did, according to Elsderkin, after persuasion. Miguna almost supports this in his book. When Raila, failed, when he failed to consider him, for even AG, and strangely Miguna is not qualified to practice in Kenya, he has not attended the Kenya school of Law and later fired him, his was a rage of a man betrayed by his deity.
Another falsity in the book is about Migunaâ€™s unassailable supremacy at University of Nairobi. While it is true that Miguna went to exile, that he was a finance secretary for about a week, that his team made bread available in large quantities, his description of Nduma Nderi (the chair of SONU) used to urinate in his trousers during campaign rallies is an outright lie according to Wafula Buke , who took over the reigns of SONU after Nduma.
Miguna aleges a meeting where one of Railaâ€™s strategists said: the 2007 poll would be shaped as 41 against 1 probably in reference to all other tribes against the Kikuyu. The first time I heard this reference was on 29th Dec, 2007. Then Raila was leading and it was Kalonzo who, when interviewed by BBC said an ODM win was a tyre pushed to ensure Kikuyuâ€™s were relagated.
Musyoka, having been in association with ODM could have been privy to this? was he leting the cat out?
Well, apparently this statement was said before a Tony Chege- the surname gives indication that the guy must have been Kikuyu. Would Raila openly say that before a Kikuyu. Sorry, Raila appears here as nodding, the words were not from him. But would he encourage that before a Kikuyu. I wouldnâ€™t be daft to do that. May be Raila is truly daft.
If what Miguna says is true, then Raila 2007 was his creation. In fact, Raila 2007, according to Miguna was a creation of his ingenuity and unparalleled, organizational, research, speech writing, financing and what have you of Miguna.
I admitted Miguna is bright, but it seems everyone else is a buffoon. According to him, Railaâ€™s performance at a dinner table was embarrassing since he lacked depth and knowledge of the Kenyan situation. I have been in three different occasions where the premier is asked questions directly.
I remember him quoting figures prety well, Census percentiles of the population, Miguna admits to be bad in Maths, he may fail to appreciate this, I am not soo good in Maths too. The PM is prety polished in his responses. Well, it may fall below Migunaâ€™s appreciation but it is so.
Lone FelixÂ isÂ the Executive Secretary League of Kenyan Youth,Â he is also a Law student at Kenyatta University.
He can be reached by emailÂ [email protected]