Many of us have been predicting that the much hyped book by Miguna Miguna will not in reality come even close to what it has been hyped to be much to the great disappointment of those who have been eagerly awaiting and hoping it does obviously at the expense of one person and the target of the book, Prime Minister Raila Amolo Odinga.
Miguna touted the book as “volcanic” and many bought the hype that here was someone–a dwarf, to be more precise–who would accomplish that which many a giant before him had failed and that is, to force a cataclysmic fall of Awambo from Kenya’s political scene.
Most of us knew and were confident that would not be the case and it’s obvious we have been and continue to be proven right.
Our skepticism and unwillingness to buy the hype from Miguna and his book is not based on spite or otherwise a disliking of the man but is simply informed by both logic and known facts, especially as they relate to politics in general and Kenya specifically.
Much as tales of a jilted lover are only devoured with some titillating satisfaction by both hers and her lover’s enemies, the contents of a vindictive book by a sacked junior staff or otherwise to the Prime Minister can only be equally devoured with titillation by the PM’s enemies and opponents but nobody else.
In fact, a good case can be made that even the PM’s opponents are not that interested in devouring the book’s content but would not mind at all being the beneficiaries of any harm to befall the PM from it, if any but there is none we can detect thus far other than on the periphery.
There are many reasons why this is the case, namely, why even the PM’s political opponents except for the most avid haters would not care to devour the content in Miguna’s book—lies or otherwise and leading them is the simple reason they are of the view this behavior should not be encouraged all.
Miguna is not the first nor is he going to be the last person to be sacked from an appointed political position and that’s regardless of whether the position is at the Permanent Secretary level or higher as Miguna claims he was or far below as everyone else knows he, in fact, was.
People get sacked from these positions all the time, including ministers but you never see them dashing to the nearest publisher to peddle “tell all” books and this is, in fact, true in every known democracy.
That’s not by accident but a reality of politics, namely, like those in the ranks far below them, even those at the very top, including presidents and prime ministers can and do get sacked.
In the West, which is far more advanced in democratic ideals, when senior government officials differ with their bosses, be it the President, in the case of countries such as the US or the Prime Minister in countries such as the United Kingdom, the norm is for those officials to simply resign.
If the officials differ on policy with their bosses but are not inclined to resign, they are forced to resign or they are simply sacked—sometimes with no apologies.
The bitter ones go on a mission to avenge their sacking, including badmouthing their former bosses often with no success but the smarter ones simply regroup and carry on with life, accepting the sacking as part of life, which it is.
Miguna is obviously of the former type and thus the reason it’s been predictable he cannot succeed in his quest to avenge his sacking by badmouthing and smearing his former boss for those who like him have tried have equally largely failed to “get back” at their former bosses.
Interestingly, Miguna said he invited Chief Justice Dr. Willy Mutunga to be his guest of honor at the book launch, an invitation he claims the Chief Justice accepted.
When this issue came to light before the launch, many of us expressed shock that our Chief Justice would accept to be guest of honor at such a politically charged and controversial event.
To our collective relief, the Chief Justice made it known he would not and, in fact, did not attend the book launch—a very wise move on the Chief Justice’s part for it would have otherwise been a major disaster of constitutional crisis proportions.
Note also who did not attend the book launch: Raila’s chief political opponents—and enemies by definition for the reasons noted above.
Writing a vindictive “tell all” book, which really means “lie about all” book by a miffed or sacked ex-political aide, leave alone “insider” is to be distinguished from a whistle-blower account written or told after the whistle-blower on his or her own leaves an institution.
A whistleblower is a person who, whether having participated in the wrong doing or not, nonetheless is overcome with a consciousness to no longer be a part of the system or organization he knows to be engaged in the wrongdoing without anyone else but him making any effort to stop it.
His or her primary motivation may or may not be utilitarian but it’s almost always the case the public good is served by such exposure and thus the reason many of these whistleblowers are credible even where they don’t have concrete, tangible evidence to back up their claims.
The fact that they come screaming before being booted is sufficient reason to believe they cannot but be driven by good moral conscience to do so.
On the other hand, one who starts shouting and screaming at the top of his lungs and from the nearest mountain tops or mike after being sacked is not and cannot be credible unless they corroborate what they say with indisputable evidence.
When the declared purpose of such “expose” by the author is to “finish” their former boss and other enemies, only the most gullible can or should buy his or her tale besides those who wish ill of the target of such vitriolic and vindictive prose.
Miguna not only started screaming about wrongdoing at the PM’s office after he was sacked, he actually negotiated directly with the PM to have him reinstated to the same office!
Let me make something very clear here:
No one is saying and certainly not yours truly is saying that the PM’s office is perfect or that even the PM himself is perfect.
The question most of us have asked and answered in the affirmative with respect to the PM is, among those vying for the presidency, who is the best qualified to lead our country after Kibaki, taking into account everything we know about them, particularly in relation to the dual, critical issues of combating corruption and ending impunity and the answer for most of us is that person is none other than Raila Odinga.
Some may disagree but that’s the nature of politics as it’s not unanimity in support and views that matters in democratic processes but making a case or even not making a case but having a majority cast a vote in favor of someone or a proposition they favor in an open and transparent ballot.
Every polling that has been taken since even before 2007 to-date clearly shows Raila is the man to beat, even though he was not beaten in 2007.
That was the case when Miguna was working for Raila and actually made the same case; it was the case the day the PM sacked him and remains to be the case even long after he has published his vindictive book.
In other words, there is nothing in Miguna’s book that changes the dynamics of who we have running for the presidency or who among them is best qualified to be our next president.
This is so because what Miguna has done is simply regurgitate what has been alleged before about conduct of some people in the PM’s office, which conduct was investigated and conclusions reached about those individuals that did not find evidence of wrong doing.
Miguna now wants to have everyone believe that his innuendos, embellishments and outright making up facts is far more important, dispositive and outweighs any previous official findings by Price Waterhouse Coopers, the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC), Inspectorate of State Corporations (ISC) and the Efficiency Monitoring Unit (EMU) with respect to any of the things he alleges in his book just because it’s Miguna saying so!
Miguna’s self-elevation to monumental heights of importance in Kenya is definitely without a match in past, current and future generations but even overblown egos must explode at some point and this one has!
The fact is, everyone, especially in politics has and must have an ego otherwise they don’t belong there but everyone also must check their ego at one point or another before it explodes to their detriment much the same way as Miguna’s has.
This is true in Kenya much as it is elsewhere.
The arrogant and tough talking Alexander Haig, former US Secretary of State, found this the hard way after essentially declaring himself president when then President Ronald Reagan was lying in bed near comatose and being treated for gunshot wounds, only to find out his old pal Reagan did not find any of this declaration amusing when he recovered and was told about it.
Reagan simply distanced himself from Haig and ultimately showed him the door and that was the end of this once powerful army general and Reagan confidant and when he died a couple of years ago, hardly anyone remembered who he was.
There is simply no time to go down the list of people whose overblown egos have seen them booted from high and low offices in Kenya but as noted above, every one of them pales in comparison to Miguna.
As if to underscore all of this, Miguna is now upset and whining that Raila is ignoring him besides not suing him!
Let me quote him and what he is saying about this:
My response (for publication) to the story “Raila will not sue Miguna” [Why Raila Will Not Sue Miguna]
a) He has not condemned Outa and others who burnt my effigy and buried my coffin in Nyando, thereby openly encouraging people to hurt or kill me. A responsible leader who upholds the rule of law would have quickly condemned those barbaric acts and distanced himself from them. By not doing so, Raila has now fully associated himself with such acts;
b) He has not responded to the allegations in the book, which are serious and go to the heart of his ability or lack thereof, to lead. The country and the world is still waiting.
c) By authorising FORA, Gitobu Imanyara, Sarah Elderkin, Ngunjiri WAmbugu and Omar Hassan Omar to attempt to assassinate my character by hurling abuse and attempting pseudo and fake psychological analysis on me rather than dealing with the contents and substance of the book, Raila has demonstrated the numerous weaknesses and failures catalogued in my book.
c) If or when Caroli and others commence action against me, as far as I am concerned, that would be Raila doing it. Caroli is not just Raila’s Private Secretary (and money man and silent nominee in various ventures), he is also a self-styled ‘Chief of Staff’. Everything written about Caroli in the book revolves around what he did after Raila was appointed PM and Caroli started working at his office. Consequently, as far as I am concerned, in all intents and purposes, Raila is Caroli and Caroli is Raila as far as my book is concerned.
d) And finally, Paul Mwangi’s opinion comment published in the electronic version of your newspaper cannot be taken to be Raila’s. Paul Mwangi is NOT Raila’s spokesperson; he is supposed to be a ‘legal adviser’. Kenyans have not given Paul Mwangi any legal and constitutional authority to act as Prime Minister. The op-ed piece is Paul Mwangi’s opinion. Therefore, as far as I can see, Raila has not spoken on my book at all. Subterfuge will not do. This is not what is expected of a PM who wants us to compare him to modern leaders in the first world. He has failed in action and practice.
Miguna [unedited] Toronto, Canada, July 26, 2012
A few things can be said in response to this:
First, Raila need not say anything about the protests in Nyando against Miguna anymore more than he publicly needs to say anything about the lies, innuendos and distortions in Miguna’s book about him or others; Miguna is free to publish those at the risk of being exposed to lawsuits much the same as the protestors have the right to protest at the risk of running afoul of the law if their protests cross the line.
Second, Miguna makes an unbelievable admission that his are not facts but “allegations!”
Does anyone need further proof if they have been sitting on the fence not knowing what to make of Miguna’s book and its allegations, not facts?
Lies, innuendos and distortions are individually or collectively nothing but allegations of the worst kind.
The best of them (allegations) are those predicated in good faith belief or knowledge albeit lacking concrete evidence and thus the reason they are referred to as allegations.
Miguna is saying his are nothing but allegations.
Makes no difference whether they are of the worst type or the more benign where he simply has no evidence to back what he is alleging.
The net-outcome is the same: one cannot prove a negative so the onus is on Miguna to table the evidence to back his wild claims or simply shut up.
Demanding that Raila responds to his allegations is not only absurd, it proves yet again what it is we have known and continue to witness in Miguna and that’s someone who’s allowed and continues to allow himself to perpetually and unrelentingly self-destruct notwithstanding his God-given talent and skills.
Third, Raila as any politician at his level has surrogates who speak for him with or without his approval at all times so, when Miguna whines that FORA and others speaking in behalf of Raila somehow demonstrates that Raila has “the numerous weaknesses and failures catalogued in my book,” his saying so goes to prove that Miguna either doesn’t understand how politics works or does and has completely lost it with his single futile mission to politically destroy Raila, which he can’t.
No polling has been done yet post Miguna’s launch of his book but for those in the betting business, their money has to be on Raila remaining the man to beat despite all of this onslaught and noise making from Miguna.
Fourth, Miguna’s claim that Raila is Caroli Omondi and vice versa is too ridiculous and nonsensical to even comment on it other than to say absurdity, too, has its limits and no amount of tortured logic can change that fact.
Finally, whether Paul Mwangi is speaking on behalf of the PM or not or whether he has the constitutional authority to do so or not is irrelevant because the issue he raises and discusses is whether Raila should sue Miguna and the prevailing view among all is that there is no need for Raila to sue and neither is there any need to publicly respond or address you Miguna in anyway.
Too bad if that’s what you had calculated and hoped he would.
Too bad if that was also part of your promotional strategy for the book.
You say you are on vacation instead of peeling the tarmac in every corner of our beloved country promoting your book which I must hasten to say I hope you get good sales like any other writers before you but not as the “volcano” you told us it was to be but simply as any well written piece of literature, fiction or otherwise.
In the end, some of us hope you truly would have learned something about this whole experience.
Some people do learn from past experiences, good or bad.
You need to as well.