Raila Odinga has cast more light, or at least given his version of events, regarding the saga of Miguna Miguna’s detention at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) at the end of March when he was refused entry into Kenya and allegedly locked in a lavatory for three days before being deported. Odinga’s and Miguna’s stories don’t exactly coincide…
Speaking at King’s College London during his trip to the UK (an event streamed live on Facebook) , Odinga suggested that his erstwhile colleague and sometime supporter was his own worst enemy and had refused to either listen to advice, or to cooperate with Immigration officials.
MIGUNA HAD NO PASSPORT – ODINGA
“I am the one who brought Miguna into Nasa”, Odinga told his audience, “and Miguna was one of those who swore me in as the ‘People’s President’”.
Odinga said he had raised the matter of Miguna in his negotiations with President Kenyatta over the now famous handshake between the two. “I said Miguna must be part of the package of this handshake and I talked to Miguna myself and told him to come back”.
According to Raila Odinga he was told by police officers at JKIA that they would let Miguna into the country if he had his passport stamped but they couldn’t let him in without a passport as they would get into trouble with their bosses.
Odinga said he met Miguna at the airport. “Then I asked Miguna ‘why don’t you give the passport to be stamped?’ but he replied, “Oh, I don’t have a passport”. Miguna only had an ID card on him, Odinga related: “As I sat there Miguna refused to cooperate and then they took him inside”.
Odinga said the whole Miguna saga had been hyped out of proportion and could have ended differently if Miguna’s lawyer had cooperated with Immigration officers and the Canadian High Commission who tried in vain to mediate a way out of the stand-off.
MIGUNA ATTACKS “ODINGA’S NEWLY INVENTED FACTS”
Perhaps it will come of no surprise that Miguna Miguna has refuted Raila Odinga’s story.
“It is completely unacceptable for Mr Odinga to minimise the barbaric treatment I have been subjected to by suggesting that all I am required to do is go to Ottowa and receive my Kenya passport”.
“Almost everything that transpired after my arrival was witnessed by my advocates, Mr Kamanda Mucheke of the KNCHR and the media. And none of them has corroborated Mr Odinga’s newly invented facts”, Miguna told the media.
“It’s not true that anybody asked me for anything at the airport. They simply refused to let me in”, Miguna said.
ODINGA’S “UNSPEAKABLE CRUELTY”
In response to Odinga’s story Miguna also alleged that his deportation on an Air Dubai flight had already been planned before he got to JKIA.
“So, in other words”, Miguna declared, “Raila Odinga had come to supervise my torture, assault and forceful exile. This is unspeakable cruelty”.
MIGUNA HIS OWN WORST ENEMY? “NOT WHILE I’M ALIVE HE’S NOT!”
The story goes that it was on overhearing his political enemy, Deputy Prime Minister Herbert Morrison in the post-Second World War British government, being described as “his own worst enemy”, that Foreign Minister Ernest Bevin was reported to have grumbled loudly , “Not while I’m bloody well alive he’s not!”