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Thursday, 12 July 2012

Miguna Miguna's Book;Whose mask is he peeling back?

If you have been ardently reading newspapers, blogs ,watching TV and generally browsing through social media content, I am sure by now you know what and who Kenyans are talking about; Miguna Miguna.{Funny my spellchecker asked me to delete repeated word..}
YES, the guy is basking in the proverbial spotlight with his soon to be launched book - Peeling Back the Mask: A Quest for Justice in Kenya.

The controversial book by The PM Former Advisor
The book has been reviewed by pundits, serialized in local dailies and deemed as the last nail on PM Raila Odinga’s political coffin. Infact, the anti Raila brigade working the puppet strings behind this whole fiasco considers it the timeliest ammo needed to bring him down to his knees by denting his image, integrity and presidential ambitions.

You will bear me witness that the release of this book is peculiarly ‘timely’. At the moment the PM is riding high on poll ratings as the most favorable presidential candidate without a doubt. He has worked really hard to ward off negativity from foes hell bent on making sure he does not ascend to that highly sought after seat in State House. He has criss-crossed the country garnering support from the most unlikely of quarters. He has drawn to his stable big names that had previously been associated with regional voting blocks that many thought would turn him down at the ballot.{..Read...Charity Ngilu, Henry Kosgey, Gitobu Imanyara…et al} Infact, if you look keenly you will notice he seems very weary physical and psychologically from all these activities. You gotta hand it to the guy; he has an elaborate takeover plan and campaign machinery that is paving his way to the house on the hill.

It’s a given that the allegations-real or not-that have been revealed in the book will considerably shift the current popularity wave that Raila has been enjoying. However silence is the deadliest weapon anyone can own as protection. The PM has so far remained mum on the defamatory contents of the book. Im certain in his Machiavellian political mentality he will counter all these and come out unscathed like the hardened political superhero that he has proven to be, just wait and see.

I’m sure in his mind Raila is still coining a ‘Kitendawili’{Proverb} that would liken Miguna to that jilted lover who will show up at your wedding and sit pensively at the edge of his seat; thick sunglasses and a black hat masking his identity from the rest of the attendees. He would be that guy who will listen keenly to every confirmatory utterances by the priest/pastor at the altar as he waits for that all important question. When the priest finally asks, “If there is anyone here who has any cause why these two souls should not be joined together in…..{the priest  doesn’t even finish }“he/she will spring from the seat and utter a big NO! the chagrin of all those present. The sad part of this analogy is that the big NO will consequently water down all the rigorous activities preceding this ceremony. And so is the case with Miguna’s book and Raila’s political journey to that ‘wedding ceremony’ at State House.

I however have an issue with Miguna.I have been reading his articles in the various forums he has written in and I had placed him with the crème de la crème of scholarly writers in our country; but I take back my one of a kind honorary degree bestowed. I had always thought of him as an issue oriented scribe spurred by that innate urge to effect positive change in our beloved country.

I agree, it sucks to be sent packing from your job when you had given it your all; 100% commitment/loyalty/dedication.Yes,it pains when ‘junior officers’get to know you have been declared redundant a week or so before you even had the faintest of ideas that your boss wanted you out.It's even more depressing that you go home without your salaries and arrears and consequently after a medley of public domain back and forth your services are permanently terminated.

From Left:PM Hon.Raila Odinga,Writer Jerome Corsi & Author  Miguna Miguna.

But, what does it benefit Miguna to paint Raila’s name in bad light when he has been shown the door? If indeed he clamors for integrity in leadership and proper management of public resources, why didn’t he then blow the whistle when he was still in the system? I would have an ounce of respect for him as a person if he pulled a John Githongo,fought and failed or succeeded from within rather than take a back seat as everything went on under his watch unabated. As the PM’s advisor; Miguna was privy to all these so called scams. In his own words, he claimed he was the envy of politicians from Nyanza and within ODM who saw him as a threat since he was getting too powerful for their liking as Raila’s advisor. The way I see it,Miguna failed the integrity test miserably.

I don’t want to sound like a Pro-Raila proponent; I am not. I believe that he is not without blemish neither is he white as cotton like he claimed. There is some truth to some of the allegations in as much as there are question marks. The way the issues raised have remained dodgy and unaddressed does not help Kenyans much in deducing the truth behind them. This puts us in an awkward position as members of public since we are left to speculate and theorize on truths and half-truths which we are very good at as Kenyans.

In this era of investigative and factual journalism, the allegations made by Miguna do not measure up to the bar raised by our professional journalists {John Allan Namu,Dennis Onsarigo,Mohammed Ali et al}All he has succeeded to do-barely-is to raise questions and make Kenyan re-evaluate Raila as a viable presidential candidate. Not bad.

He will probably successfully launch the book and sell a few thousand copies but what value will he have added? Unless he is not reading from the same page like most Kenyans, his book is bound to polarize Kenyans and awaken the ghosts of past ethnic animosities that we have so far learnt to do without.
Kenya is in a transition process of healing and reconciliation. We need leaders with integrity, focus, direction, desire and management skills that will steer our country in line with Vision 2030 for development to be realized and good writers are not an exception to that equation.

I only wish he had framed his book to scholarly address management of public resources by giving Kenyans a blue print on how to for example choose good leaders, how to have a flawless electoral process, how to run a campaign, integrity of office, political party administration, finance and budgeting at all government levels just to mention but a few. From his background as a lawyer, Miguna could have enlightened Kenyans on how to put the elected leaders on check under the law, citizens rights and privileges within the constitution with regards to the conduct of public officials et cetera.Though I am yet to read the book,i am sure these topics will not even made footnotes in Miguna’s book. How sad.
The tough talking Miguna Miguna

All said, I believe Miguna is as intelligent a person as manipulative a writer he is. I think there is more to this book than it being about demonizing Raila and highlighting his lackluster leadership and credentials. I wonder whose agenda he is pushing? I will leave it at that.

On a lighter-rather sadistic note: The Scribe recently overheard a conversation between some very agitated brothers from the lakeside obviously not very impressed by Miguna’s book. They were ranting and raving mad about him being a spoiler for ‘Baba’ {read Raila} who was set on finally sitting pretty in state house. Then they said something in reference to the book’s title that got me laughing my head off. One of them said, “That guy should first of all peel back his foreskin before he can even start speaking about Baba!!” {If you are from the lakeside translate it in the best way you know} #iDied – I Hope Kibunjia doesn’t descend on me for this...its all verbatim.LOL!

The Scribe Rests his Pen


  1. Martin Falloutboy12 July 2012 at 04:11

    lol, before this i cared less about miguna's book..(i allowed my spellcheck to delete repeated word), now am kind of curious about this "disclosures", though again this deviates from the main thrust of what we desire from our leaders..i.e, good affordable housing, reliable water, electricity & sanitation, jobs, sensible credit, security..etc.

  2. Yes Martin!Kenya has far more serious development oriented issues to address {Vision 2030 for instance}.All these allegations-real or perceived-should not sidetrack Kenyans from achieving this blueprint.

  3. @ OG, nice article...I didn't know you had a blog until after Rombo #newRecruit

  4. u are welcomed #newRecruit *wink!Join the site as you settle in.Happy reading...

  5. One thing for sure, Miguna's book will give Kenyan's an insight about 'baba'#Raila. We should not just brush off all those allegations cited in this book...

  6. i agree liannes,the said allegations unfounded or not are bound to generate public debate.Hopefully Kenyans will be more keen in vetting politicians and leaders managing public resources.Watch this space..

  7. Yeah, I think we should give Miguna some attention

  8. I am yet to read Miguna's book, but from the comments I get from those who have read it, it sounds to me that the scope of the content is not met by the ambition of the title.

    Most people judge the book to be basically "unmasking" Raila. Raila has his undoings, just like anybody else. To project him as the epitome of injustice and a model of "masked" leadership in Kenya may portray other motives other than a quest for justice for the nation of Kenya.

    For objective readers, the logical fallacies may do a lot to weaken the subject matter.