Miguna Miguna: Who’s this man with twin names? - Daily Nation

Miguna Miguna: Who’s this man with twin names?

Wednesday February 7 2018

Miguna Miguna

Miguna Miguna participates in a gubernatorial debate at Crowne Plaza Hotel, Nairobi, on June 29, 2017. He earned a Juris Doctor from the Osgoode Hall Law School of York University in 1993. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By NJOKI CHEGE
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He sat stoic and unbowed in the face of adversity.

On that much-dreaded aisle seat inside the KLM plane en route to Canada via Amsterdam, Mr Miguna Miguna was lost in his thoughts, oblivious to an eager onlooker snapping away at him.

Mr Miguna looked nothing like a man who had spent the past five days in a filthy police cell, a world of a difference from his palatial address, 486 Runda Meadows.

His key distinguishing features remained unscathed, his famous taqiyah – the rounded skullcap – a black power suit and a white shirt that had miraculously stayed crisp in the melee with the police.

BOLD

The only give-away to this perfect image was that Miguna was wearing a pair of red slippers – an odd sartorial choice for a man of Miguna’s stature.

This was the proof Kenyans were waiting for. Mr Miguna was gone, baby, gone.

There are men who leave an impression, and then there is Mr Miguna.

A permanent fixture on local television stations, famous for his brilliantly argued thoughts and sometimes ludicrous overstatements on politics and political rivals, Miguna was the ultimate political commentator.

Confident, self assured, with an embellished view of himself, Mr Miguna’s list of brash assertions could well be complied into a book.

CARTELS

Mr Miguna’s promise to Nairobi residents, if elected as governor, was to wipe out the cartels in the city.

Habitually mocking people who were not as educated as him he often went for the jugular when attacking fellow panellists.

His book, Peeling Back the Mask: A quest for Justice in Kenya, published in 2012, which promised to put to bed Nasa leader Raila Odinga’s political career, was laden with rather dramatic proclamations such as “I shall never, ever work with or for Raila Amolo Odinga again here on earth, in heaven or in hell. I would rather die than work with or for Raila Amolo Odinga.”

Fate would have it that what is now perhaps the most significant event in Mr Miguna’s political and activist career had everything to do with his participation in Mr Odinga’s mock swearing-in ceremony.

JUDICIARY

Speaking moments after his deportation to Canada, where he is also a citizen, Mr Miguna promised his supporters that it was not over yet.

“I have instructed a battery of competent advocates to ensure that the ongoing rogue purveyors of impunity are brought to book. They are not above the law, even though they behave as if they are,” he said.

As he cools his heels in Canada, it is perhaps a good time to ask, who is this man Miguna?

Born in Magina, Nyando Sub-County, his father died before Mr Miguna was born, leaving him to be raised by a poor, single mother who instilled in him the value of hard work.

EXPULSION

He attended Njiris High School in Murang’a before going to the University of Nairobi where he was a student leader between 1986 and 1987.

He later got detained by the Moi regime and expelled from the university.

Mr Miguna has previously fled to countries such as Tanzania and Swaziland before attaining political asylum in Canada in 1988.

In asylum, he pursed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Philosophy from University of Toronto on June 1990.

EDUCATION

He also earned a Juris Doctor from the Osgoode Hall Law School of York University in 1993, as well as a Master of Laws degree from the same university.

Between 2009 and 2011, Miguna served as a senior advisor on legal affairs to the then Prime Minister Raila Odinga before falling out with him.

Mr Miguna’s first dalliance with national politics was in 2007 when he contested the ODM nomination for Nyando constituency but lost.

His second shot at politics was during the 2017 elections when he unsuccessfully sought the Nairobi gubernatorial seat, losing to Mr Mike Sonko.

He later carved out a public persona as a political commentator and later reconciled with Mr Odinga and christened himself as the “General” of the now outlawed NRM.

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