Raila kicks out key aide
Posted Thursday, August 4 2011 at 22:00
Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s advisor on coalition affairs, Mr Miguna Miguna, was dramatically suspended from duty Thursday, accused of “gross misconduct”.
One of the more powerful figures around the Prime Minister, Mr Miguna has been instrumental in shaping Mr Odinga’s position on constitutional review and relations with coalition partners.
Suspended without pay, he was ordered by the permanent secretary in the PM’s office, Mr Mohamed Isahakia, to leave office immediately and hand over government property to the administration secretary, Mr Caroli Omondi.
Mr Miguna, an abrasive lawyer, is accused of misrepresenting the Office of the Prime Minister, possibly a reference to his having aired strong views which may have embarrassed the PM.
Mr Miguna, a regular commentator in the Star, has recently written stinging criticisms of the Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) in his column, particularly its chairman, Mr Isaack Hassan, whom he accused of unfairly taking all the credit for the commission’s good work so far.
His suspension comes at a time when the IIEC is in uproar, unsettled by anonymously authored complaints which the commissioners characterise as a hate campaign but which raise troubling questions on corruption and nepotism.
One of the anonymous complaints distributed to the media was published in the Star on Tuesday, apparently authored by a Mr Gikonyo Boaz.
On Wednesday, the IIEC suspended Mr Allan Odongo, an aide to commission chief officer James Oswago, after the same document, along with others in the same vein, was allegedly found in his computer.
The commission also recalled Mr Oswago from a foreign trip and called the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate what it termed a ‘hate campaign’.
Mr Odongo protested his innocence and said the documents were in general circulation and that he was not the author.
In his letter, Dr Isahakia said: “I have been instructed by the Prime Minister that you be and are hereby suspended from performing the duties as the Advisor, Coalition Affairs with immediate effect for gross misconduct. While on suspension, you will not be entitled to any salary until your case is finalised.”
Mr Miguna maintained he was innocent and claimed not having received the letter kicking him out of office.
He blamed his suspension on the “merchants of impunity”.
“I have not received any letter or communication to that effect…nobody has called me. I have just learnt of the news through the media,” said Mr Miguna, who said he was attending a workshop in Naivasha.
“I shall neither waver nor be cowed…these are the works of the merchants of impunity, who I can categorically say, shall fail,” he said.
Mr Miguna, fiercely loyal to Mr Odinga, has often taken strong positions on public issues.
The allegation of “misrepresenting” Mr Odinga, might be a way of Mr Odinga’s handlers saying he did not always share those positions.