Miguna has written his name into history
Posted Saturday, July 21 2012 at 20:38
Controversial whistleblower and author Miguna Miguna has written his name into Kenya’s history in more ways than do damage to Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s reformist credentials.
Speaking on a TV talk show, former political prisoner Koigi wa Wamwere drew a parallel between the events preceding Mr Miguna’s flight to Canada and the Kanu-era repression that saw political dissidents like himself banished into exile. Mr Wamwere appeared to suggest those threats of arrest by police, lawsuits and scenes of mobs burning effigies of Mr Miguna were straight from Moi’s book.
If it turns out that Mr Miguna indeed fled for his life, then the man has effectively become the first Kenyan political exile under the new Constitution.
At a local level, Mr Miguna becomes one of only a handful prominent Luos to publicly defy Mr Odinga’s authority in a community where the latter’s word is still considered law. Cabinet ministers Anyang’ Nyong’o and James Orengo have had run-ins of their own with Mr Odinga in the past before surrendering to the king’s court.
Although Mr Miguna has lumped Prof Nyong’o together with the rest of the ‘lyrical types’ in his book, Peeling Back the Mask, the Medical Services minister still occasionally shows glimpses of his once fiercely independent mind.
Prof Nyong’o may have lost his spine to past battering by Mr Odinga’s strong-arm tactics in local politics. But he has at least protested perceived interference by the Prime Minister’s office in the running of his ministry’s affairs, including nepotistic tendencies.
And talking of Mr Odinga’s reported nepotistic tendencies, Mr Miguna isn’t the first person to claim inside information about them. Dr Shem Ochuodho, a man with more temperate public mannerisms compared to Mr Miguna’s, also alludes to having witnessed nepotistic tendencies in his book, Dawn of a Rainbow published this year.
Narrating his experience as a member of a think-tank that drafted the negotiations agenda for the Kanu/NDP political deal in the 1990s, Dr Ochuodho writes that he “broke away from the cooperation bandwagon when it emerged that certain key members within the NDP leadership were more interested in personal or family gain, and not national or even regional gain.”
Still wondering why Ms Sarah Elderkin’s lyrical rebuttal to the issues raised in Mr Miguna’s book last week was pitiably clumsy when it came to the question of nepotism?