Peeling Back Miguna

 

Kenya is an interesting country. There’s always something burning. If it’s not smoke from a burning car that has just collided with another, it is our athletes achieving rip-roaring success in the international arena, or better still, a scandal in the government. It’s funny what campus students have resorted to in their quest to earn a living. The sad story of the USIU student who had been abducted and later killed by his own mates left us all feeling awful. Only for a ransom of Ksh.100,000? I found that to be rather imprudent. What of the school girls who went on strike in protest against the administration’s introduction of long skirts? They want to walk around in school feeling sexy. Certainly the challenges that come with modernization.
But perhaps the story making rounds right now circles around one name, Miguna Miguna! And no, I didn’t repeat myself. The lawyer from Nyando has been dominating the airwaves since launching his memoirs titled ‘Peeling Back The Mask: A Quest For Justice In Kenya’. A book that few admit is acerbic. What we have witnessed on the news recently could as well pass for some sort of dramedy. The catch phrase ‘Come, baby, come!’ which Miguna uttered on the launch of the book in reference to those who feel offended by his writing has gone viral in social media sites. Maybe this story is heading for its saturation point. We’ll get tired of it as it is our norm. But what baffles me with a good lot of sufficiently educated Kenyans is the fact that we are good in exhibiting colorful satire that often results to mere amusement but nothing to gain from. What happens after the dust settles and everybody has gone home?

The people of Nyando, shamelessly led by their Member of Parliament, staged demonstrations, in what I am made to understand was an attempt to disown Miguna. I won’t even dwell upon what their placards read nor what their MP said while addressing the crowd. To me that was pure theatrics. It’s like Kenyans are still shy of their democracy. That if our tribesman has a differing political opinion from what we collectively believe in as a section of a tribe, we regard him as an outcast. This debate is heated even in my very home. Kenya might be approaching 50 but her citizens are still 10 year olds romping about in the blindness of empty political fanaticism.

The presidential aspirants we purport to support are people we barely know. We simply watch them on the news, read about them in the newspapers, and if we’re lucky, have a chance to see them in those noisy political rallies or interact with them online. We don’t know the things they do when nobody is watching and it’s just them and God. That is to say we’ve always gambled with our votes. And even though we passed the new constitution, it’s almost evident that majority of us did that out of conjecture, because upto now, a huge percentage of us are not conversant with the contents of that document, especially in regard to democracy.

Miguna’s bullish demeanor has earned him many enemies. But Kenyans are also funny people. We have not read the book yet we’re very spiritual in cursing the author. It’s no wonder many of this country’s greatest writers die poor because we have a culture of not appreciating literary works. We have become obsessed with the online craze at the expense of the richness found in books. And then we’ll sit back expecting to achieve our visions as a country. Most of the people complaining about Miguna’s book even have no clue about what is written on its first page. It’s like attacking the devil yet you don’t even know how he looks like and you’re there charged with your arsenal.

The man simply wrote of the nefarious activities taking place quietly under the political umbrella, mostly in the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM). For a person to take all his time to piece up a 500 page book, he must have done his research well and thought much before releasing it to the public. Not to say that I concur with the entire content of his publication as I have only read excerpts of it. I am simply saying that we Kenyans ought to stop being ignorant. Relying solely on the media for all the perceptions there are to all political challenges is only a tailored recipe to narrowing our minds, and unfortunately, we always fall for it.

Miguna just utilized his constitutional rights. No matter how much we call him all sorts of names, he could perhaps be a whole generation ahead of us – just in the manner in which he expresses himself in writing. His ego might lead him to throwing a few undesired statements here and there mainly because of the provocation he receives from members of the fourth estate whom I sometimes feel end up asking very irrelevant questions, but he means good for this country. He may seem demented and all that, but in my opinion, his work is the Kenyan desideratum. A decade or two from now, we shall surely appreciate him – maybe.

You can tell he is nothing in resemblance to a timorous customer, not new to controversy. Being the Managing Editor of the student magazine ‘Campus Mirror’, while at the University of Nairobi(UoN), he criticized the university’s administration and the dictatorial KANU regime. The Moi government banned the magazine together with the Student Organization of Nairobi University(Sonu) for which he served as the Financial Secretary in 1987. He was to be expelled alongside 42 other students for their involvement in activities that led to the closure of the university that same year. So many Kenyans who yap his name don’t even know him.

The challenges poised by this onerous situation are that Raila’s political rivals are cashing in on it. They’re using it as a weapon to attack him. Raila has not spoken out yet on this issue, and pressure is mounting. From the general public, those who do not support him have found a seemingly baseless reason to further their inundation of tribal politics. That’s why I say democracy is still in its infancy in our dear country.

I would have wished that before we hoist our lashes at Miguna, we would take in what he has brought forth, analyse it and make our individual decisions. But then the book is seemingly meant for the elite. Its price is a real tale to the common mwananchi who struggles to put ugali on his family’s table rather than struggle to buy a book whose cost is somewhat equivalent to or more than his monthly house rent.

Of course questions will not cease being raised, of why Miguna chose to talk about these things only after falling out with the Prime Minister, or why he did not inform the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission of these hidden truths he claims to be hoarding. Whether his motive was to injure Raila’s campaign trail or not, one thing’s for sure, Miguna wants Kenyans to think and think hard.

He is currently in Toronto, Canada, out of what most critics have termed as cowardice. But he outrightly states that he’s no coward and that he’s out of the country to market his book as well as share some good time with his beloved family, and will probably be back by September to face anyone who wants to take him to court.

In the end, our country is still above all individuals. It is our duty to be responsible citizens carrying at the back of our minds the consciousness that there are generations coming in the future whose state depends on the decisions we make now. Long live Kenya!!

Comments

comments

Post Author: Rixpoet

0 thoughts on “Peeling Back Miguna

  • Anonymous

    (July 19, 2012 - 3:04 pm)

    A interesting, sober read.Keep writing.

    • Rixpoet

      (July 19, 2012 - 3:11 pm)

      many thanks. wish you could have left your name.

  • Anonymous

    (July 19, 2012 - 3:12 pm)

    TALK ABOUT A BALANCED AND NEUTRAL ARTICLE IS THIS ONE.WRITE MORE IN FUTURE COZ YOU CAN BEAT OUR MEDIA HOUSES WHO AT TIMES FALL INTO PRESSURE OF BEING PARTIAL.AND THE OUTCOME WILL BE ‘In the end, our country is still above all individuals. It is our duty to be responsible citizens carrying at the back of our minds the consciousness that there are generations coming in the future whose state depends on the decisions we make now. Long live Kenya!!

    • Rixpoet

      (July 20, 2012 - 5:20 pm)

      Long live Kenya!!!!

  • Anonymous

    (July 19, 2012 - 3:16 pm)

    hmmm intresting article indeed …..
    i refuse to comment on the words being exchanged for i have learnt over the years that when it comes to politicians nothing is to be taken at face value for even foes turn to be friends within the blink of an eye.
    i agree that most do not know him but we all know for all venturing into the publishing world a “tell all” book normaly sells more than the other books considered boring and plain. Even in the states the video vixens are now publishing their tell all books naming and shaming the “celebrities” with the very knowledge that otherwise noboby would cast a second glance at their books.
    fact is controvercy sells …period….
    my issue with Miguna x 2 is that he is distorting certain facts ….have a look at his facebook page and tell me that is not a man with ulterior motives (forget the book) ….
    and just like everyone else i must ask while he was the PM’s aide why didnt he do anything about it and only choose to speak about it now???
    the whole idea of going to publicize his book abroad is just a clear example of why the west hold us in such low regards ….we always run abroad when there is something wrong to cry to the westerners as forgetting thet they will only take advantage if given the opportunity, only we can solve our own problems …..
    i believe instead of publishing a book he could have followed the right channels to address there corruption issues …..he is nothing but a pawn in this chess piece called politics.

    ….before painting him as a reformist, take a look at his facebook page ….i care not for his personal vendettas but to try hoodwink us with certain misconstrued facts is an insult to our inteligence

    …….like i always say the country is not run by just one man …..the president is merely a poster boy ……..

    • Rixpoet

      (July 19, 2012 - 3:29 pm)

      thank you for your compliments. I appreciate your two cents on this.

    • james N ndicu

      (July 19, 2012 - 5:25 pm)

      there are matters too complex to be comprehended by an ordinary jamaa. if miguna didn’t come clean while he was in the inner circle is because he had a good damn reason. didn’t he resigh when it was too much for him.??
      have you even red the book, an average jamaa would think the book is profit oriented just like you. miguna is a person with a title and has enough wealth.

      i find your English excellent on your post so I don’t c how a person of such status could come up with such a conclusion. I know you taking sides but hey, facts are on the table.

      • Rixpoet

        (July 20, 2012 - 4:51 pm)

        he probably just has the other side of the coin, James. His opinion still counts.

    • codesheddy

      (July 19, 2012 - 6:33 pm)

      excellent thought there

  • heartstringsafrica

    (July 19, 2012 - 3:24 pm)

    such a good write……kenyans judge even before they read…..how can a mentally disturbed person write a book ??miguna is real and people should read in between the paragraphs if not between the lines….

    • Rixpoet

      (July 19, 2012 - 3:36 pm)

      Exactly, heartstrings. Thank you for reading through.

  • nimo

    (July 19, 2012 - 4:43 pm)

    an interesting good article right there

    But i still ask myself why did he behave like a scorned man, did he have to wait to get out of the house to paint it black or what???

    • Rixpoet

      (July 20, 2012 - 4:52 pm)

      we are all asking ourselves that question. I guess he knows best.

  • Ghafla!Guy

    (July 19, 2012 - 4:43 pm)

    Miguna has managed to capture the attention of a country for the last 2 weeks for the right or wrong reasons. Now that is an achievement in itself.

    • Rixpoet

      (July 20, 2012 - 4:52 pm)

      hehe. Quite a strong wave that has been.

  • shirokiambo

    (July 19, 2012 - 4:56 pm)

    Ha ha hah,true true true,social media is full of all this information about miguna yet how many of those people have taken time to read the contents of the book?Surely,ket us read first,the judge intelligently

    • Rixpoet

      (July 20, 2012 - 4:47 pm)

      true, Shiro. Intelligent judgement is what our minds should purpose.

  • james N ndicu

    (July 19, 2012 - 5:00 pm)

    spoken like a true elite. you see, the problem with Kenya is that there is too much ignorance. I concur with u that the book was Ment for the elites because an ordinary jamaa would still find it time wasting reading that book further more he wouldn’t even understand it.
    most of the things mentioned on the book are not so new especially a segment stating how
    R.A.O is involved in black magic.

    miguna is a person with a unique mind &, this can b attested by the way he expresses himself in the book.

    long live miguna

    • Rixpoet

      (July 20, 2012 - 4:45 pm)

      thank you for your kind words, James. Certainly a politician is not a god.

  • codesheddy

    (July 19, 2012 - 6:28 pm)

    This is a great article poet,though this time round I’d like to refer to you as columnist.To me,the reality in kenya is that corruption,justice and even liberty are largely perceptions,and that’s why once labelled a reformer or a revolutionary…you become safe and secure to conduct your personal interests in the shadow of your image..I’m reading the book,and though I would not back any side at the time,I have questions in mind and concerns over the sinking of democratic institutions in the soils of our conduct..coz reactions by many parties over this issue and their acute immediacy reveal the weight of personality politics in our systems and the volatile state of the thrive of negative ethnicity here.On the other hand I’d still be wishing to understand whether Miguna signed the secrecy Act by government personnel and whether though analytically deep in his book,he has violated any law.Also,his departure and timing is crucial to my understanding,…but all the same…there is information we should think about ..and know better about…nice article.

    • Rixpoet

      (July 20, 2012 - 4:42 pm)

      great sentiments there, Code. Am glad you have taken it upon yourself to find those truths and make decisions for the good of this country.

  • henry

    (July 20, 2012 - 12:06 am)

    Miguna personally declared he doesn’t have a Facebook page,so do not blame him on the contents of a fictitious Facebook page anonymous above…as for the article very sober written,my sentiments exactly

    • Rixpoet

      (July 20, 2012 - 4:36 pm)

      thank you for your feedback, Henry.

  • Winnie

    (July 20, 2012 - 12:13 pm)

    What a great mind there! Impressive piece!

    • Rixpoet

      (July 20, 2012 - 4:35 pm)

      many thanks, Winnie! Thank you for your time. 🙂

    • Rixpoet

      (July 20, 2012 - 4:35 pm)

      many thanks, Winnie! Thank you for your time. 🙂

  • amarepoeta

    (July 23, 2012 - 11:29 am)

    Now that is telling it like it is. Hat off!

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