The dust has yet to settle after the launch of Miguna Miguna’s book ‘Peeling back the mask’ and the many and various responses to its publication have created more heat than light. It is time to consider in more measured terms what are, or should be, the repercussions to what he has written and alleged.
It is not a question of whether we like, or do not like, Miguna Miguna but let’s start there because the nature of the man and his reasons for penning ‘Peeling back the mask’ provides a context to the debate.
MIGUNA MIGUNA THE MAN
Anyone who has read ‘Peeling back the mask’, or anyone who read Miguna Miguna’s weekly articles in The Star before and after he was sacked by Raila Odinga, or indeed probably anyone who knew and worked with him, will in all likelihood have a similar picture of him.
Miguna Miguna is without doubt an opinionated man, prone to arrogance and conceit, someone who regards himself as an intellectual and scholar surrounded by fools. He was a man with an over-inflated view of his position and influence. There may too be a touch of the bully about him.
He is also now, and has been since at least the time of his sacking, an aggrieved man, bitter at the manner in which, as he perceives it, his former leader Raila Odinga and people around him, the latter being the ‘fools’ in Miguna’s eyes, got rid of him.
HOPE, EXPECTATION AND BETRAYAL
To be fair to Miguna, he probably invested a great deal of hope and expectation in the figure of Raila Odinga and rightly or wrongly felt a form of betrayal that the man he looked up to fell short of the ideal.
To be fair to Raila Odinga it is clear when reading between the lines of ‘Peeling back the mask’that he had distanced himself from Miguna several months before sacking him, aware perhaps of the nature of the man. Did Raila come to realise that ODM’s attack dog was quite capable of turning and biting his master?
On the way up the political ladder Miguna upset some of those around him, and of course he is greatly disliked by opponents from other political camps. On the way down they are out to get him just as he is out to get some of them.
SERIOUS ALLEGATIONS – CORRUPTION, PEV COMPLICITY, NEPOTISM…
So we must take some or much of what Miguna Miguna has alleged with a pinch of salt, as the product of an angry and slighted man. BUT, that does not make some of what he has alleged to be of no consequence. The allegations, at least some of them, are serious in the extreme and must be addressed.
Miguna Miguna’s points the finger at figures in high office and those around them. He writes of ‘brief cases’ and ‘brown envelopes’, and of such people being ‘deeply involved in scandal’. He writes too of involvement with post-election violence (PEV); of gross nepotism; of ‘a foreign diplomat’ advising Kenyan politicians on how to do down their opponents at the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague; of foreign trips that were clearly party political in nature but paid for by Kenyan taxpayers; and again and again of corruption.
A GREAT IRONY
The Kenya Forum finds it ironic that had ‘Peeling back the mask’ been written about Moi, Biwott, Kenyatta, or even Bethuel Kiplagat, however flimsy the basis of the allegations had been, many of those now attacking Miguna Miguna, indeed in time past Miguna himself, would have called for legal action, for those “adversely mentioned” to stand down and be barred from office, as guilty until proved innocent and to hell with Kenya’s new constitution.
LIBEL OR FACT THE TRUTH MUST BE TOLD
Miguna Miguna’s book ‘Peeling back the mask’ may well land him in court. If it is proved to be libelous he will deserve to face the full weight of the law. If, however, Miguna’s allegations prove to be well-founded then others deserve to stand in the dock and must face the consequences.
Either way the truth must out. Miguna Miguna’s allegations must not be swept under the carpet.