Miguna Miguna has issued a press statement titled “Have The Human Rights Ogranizations and Writers’ Groups Been Compromised” which I address to him in response as follows:
Miguna, you have said a number of things in this statement which even though the initial inclination for anyone who follows your unfolding drama from our side of the aisle is to ignore—and wisely so, let me nonetheless address what you have said if anything to once again put things in perspective for those who may have just landed from outer space and read your statement.
For easy following, what you said in your statement is in italics.
On February 14, 1989, the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa (a death edict) against the celebrated British writer Salman Rushdie following the publication of Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses in 1988. The book became a centre of controversy worldwide, resulting in threats on the book, its author and on the author’s supporters. In its wake, some innocent people lost their lives, others suffered serious injuries and property worth millions of dollars was destroyed.
When you are done running around through the day peddling your shameless propaganda and lies, please take a pad and jot down a few things that may reasonably and objectively make your book different from Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses or the author himself.
If you can’t do so or are unwilling to for any number of reasons, let me save you the time and paraphrase a famous line from an American Vice Presidential candidate in 1988 by the name Senator Lloyd Benstein when one hapless Republican VP candidate by the name Dan Quayle who, when he attempted to compare himself to John F Kennedy, the statesman and senior Senator to him retorted, “Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy!”
Well, Miguna, we know who Salman Rushdie is and we know what he wrote that offended radical Muslims like Ayatollah Khomenini to the point of issuing a fatwa against him. You are no Salman Rushdie and neither is what you have written so offensive as to warrant anyone sane to call for your head.
Rather, those who you have smeared, defamed or offended beginning from the main target of your smears and defamation himself all have actually chosen to dismiss you as a madman and may not even pursue a case of defamation against you because they believe you might successfully invoke the defense of insanity in a civil suit where even the Supreme Court would have to agree in affirming such a defense for the first time in history.
BTW, it is now becoming annoyingly boring in your persistent and shameless elevation to comparison to figures way above your scale; last time it was Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, Makhan Singh, Achieng’ Oneko and Bildad Kaggia, to which yours truly kindly implored you not to compare yourself to these heroes as such out of respect to them now you have seen it fit to compare yourself to Salman Rushdie.
Please desist from invoking such comparisons for none of them come close to what you have done or are doing.
But Rushdie didn’t relent. Nor did the world abandon him in his quest to write freely and to exercise his freedom of thought, conscience, speech, expression and association.
True but what has this to do with you and your flopped book?
Most publishers, writers, journalists, artists, musicians, international human rights organizations, writers’ groups, editors’ guilds, human rights defenders and world leaders were rightly united in their condemnation of the intolerance, the threats, the intimidations and violence against Rushdie, his works and against his freedom of thought and expression.
Again, true but what has this to do with you and your flopped book?
On Saturday, July 14, 2012, I launched my political memoirs, Peeling Back the Mask: A Quest For Justice In Kenya at the Intercontinental Hotel in Nairobi. The book is about my life, my political growth, the crystallization of my beliefs, ideology and philosophy and my experiences working as the senior adviser for coalition, constitutional and legal affairs for the Prime Minister of Kenya as well as being the joint secretary to the Permanent Committee on the Management of the Grand Coalition affairs.
The first part of your book maybe about your life and your political and ideological growth but the rest of it is nothing but made up stuff, regurgitations of bar-room rumors, embellishment of facts and in some cases outright lies that add no value to any serious political discourse.
Peeling Back The Mask traces my struggle against adversities and privations; the collective struggle and resistance of Kenyans against totalitarianism; the struggle for a new constitutional and democratic dispensation in Kenya; and exposes the pervasive culture of impunity, corruption, nepotism and abuse of public office within the grand coalition government.
News flash: your “struggle against adversities and privations” is not unique to you and neither is the “collective struggle and resistance of Kenyans against totalitarianism” or “the struggle for a new constitutional and democratic dispensation in Kenya” something only you can speak to; in fact, millions of others who continued with the struggles after you safely exited the country to this day can and have so we fail to note why you think your contribution in this part of our history is something to write home about.
However, rather than engage in reasoned debates on the issues addressed in my book, detractors and politicians who have built their careers on lies, hypocrisy and myths have resolved to violently attack me and the book.
You may have been too busy penning your “memoir” while working for the PM you failed to notice there has been and continues to be rigorous debate among Kenyans about the future of our country to this day, including debate on the very issues you claim you have raised in your book.
In other words, Kenyans did not need your book to start debate these issues which are well known to all those who care to follow even remotely the goings on in our country and that debate will culminate in the next general elections when we all go to the polls to choose our leaders for the next five years, if not longer.
They have organized, sponsored and hired goons to disrupt my book tour events in Kisumu and Mombasa; events they were not invited to.
There is no evidence that anyone has done so but credible sourcing indicates if anything, you or your handlers are the ones who organized and staged the Mombasa scene where you lost your shoe and cap.
On Sunday August 25th, 2012, a group of hired hooligans forced their way into the Castle Royal Hotel in Mombasa and violently attacked me, disrupted my function, destroyed property and stole five books. They were openly and loudly chanting the name of the Prime Minister, Raila Amolo Odinga, and taunting and threatening to lynch me for not supporting him.
Again, credible sourcing and even a lay examination of the footage from the event confirms this was a staged event intended to do desperately link Raila and ODM with your travails but all to no avail.
Two days before that – on Thursday August 23, 2012 – a group of hired goons, chanting the name of the Prime Minister, disrupted my book promotion event in Kisumu. Like in Mombasa, the paid thugs physically assaulted me while chanting the name of Raila Amolo Odinga and threatening to lynch me if I did not stop promoting my book.
All reporting even from your die-hard supporters indicate the Kisumu event was very orderly and peaceful until you started insulting your audience upon which tempers flared and a few attendees wanted to land a few fists in your lips to shut you up.
There is no evidence any of this was organized by anyone but that is not to say anyone should condone resorting to fists or other forms of violence to express displeasure with your defamatory, reckless and insulting comments about Raila and Luos. You should be allowed to do whatever you are doing and be answerable only in the court of public opinion for those who find it offensive or in law courts for those who find it defamatory.
They claimed that I was the only one trying to prevent Mr. Odinga from becoming president in the forthcoming general elections.
This assertion is patently false because you’re not the only one trying to prevent Raila from becoming president in the next general elections.
You’re just saying it to make yourself that important when you’re obviously not.
Mr. Odinga will never ascend to the presidency through intimidation, threats or violence. He can only do so by persuading Kenyans to vote for him based on his record, policies and intentions, all of which have been exposed as frauds!
It’s true Raila will not ascend to the presidency through intimidation, threats or violence; he will do so on account of his leadership ability and successfully making the case he is the best qualified to be our next president among all those vying.
You assert that all of Raila’s record, policies and intentions have been exposed as “frauds.” Now, you claim to be more intelligent and smart than everyone else; can you re-read what you are saying here and see for yourself why it doesn’t make any sense or, put more politely, why it’s another lie of yours?
If that’s too much to ask, let me make it easier for you:
Raila spent nearly a decade in detention for his quest for reforms in the country; what was fraudulent about that heroic experience and sacrifice?
Raila successfully led in defeating passage of the watered down draft constitution Kibaki and co wanted to shove down our throats in 2005; what is fraudulent about that exemplary leadership?
Rather than demanding and insisting that he be sworn as president or that we have new elections after Kibaki lost but was sworn as president in 2007, Raila agreed to form a coalition government with the man who stole the elections; what is fraudulent about that statesman-like resolve?
When Kibaki attempted to yet again shove down our throats something we did not want this time in the illegal attempt to appoint his cronies to important constitutional offices, Raila stopped him dead on his tracks; what is fraudulent about that noble effort?
Should I go on to show you how your assertion that “all of Raila’s record, policies and intentions” have been exposed as “frauds” is full of you know what?
Your hyperbole and lies will in the end be the undoing of yourself besides yourself.
The attacks were barbaric assaults on my fundamental freedom of thought, conscience, expression, association and movement.
I agree with you that it’s barbaric to assault or attack anyone for expressing themselves or associating with others but, as noted above, there is credible information and evidence the Mombasa scene was staged so you may want to try some other line of drawing sympathy than this one.
But even more chilling is that fact that the police watched helplessly as I was being attacked and took no steps to protect me, to prevent the physical assaults on me, and are yet to arrest and charge the goons who were captured by media cameras (and videos) committing these serious crimes. Why is Keriako Tobiko, the Director of Public Prosecutions, suddenly gone quiet? Where is Mzalendo Kibunjia, the chair of the National Cohesion and Integration Commission?
None of this is necessary in a staged event—successful or not.
To date, Raila Odinga has not condemned these primitive attacks on me; attacks that were perpetrated in his name.
Raila need not condemn your specific incident whether staged or not because he is on record as having said neither he nor ODM condones any acts of violence in political discourse and that applies in your case.
I am sure you’ll be thrilled to no end but still continue in the course you’re on were Raila to come out and specifically condemn what happened in your case but if I were him I would not do so because it’s meaningless to do so and getting you thrilled or mollifying his enemies is the last thing I would want to do besides not making it any more meaningful or useful.
His silence implies that he condones these barbaric attacks.
No it does not; it merely means it’s not worth it for the reasons stated above.
A purported statement condemning the attacks that was released by the ODM Secretary General, Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o, was promptly contradicted by another one released by the Raila Odinga Presidential Campaign Secretariat. Both statements attempted to blame me, the victim, for the violent attacks on me.
The statements speak for themselves and you’re the only one whining about them because the truths in them sting.
Coming from the Prime Minister and so-called ‘leading presidential candidate,’ the message Mr. Odinga is sending through his campaign secretariat and Orange House is that no one has the right to disagree with him; that he is above the law.
People disagree with Raila all the time and often find out later they were wrong and wish as Mudavadi does now that they had not.
You, too, will someday, if you haven’t already started regretting for going down this path following your unceremonious sacking.
Mr. Odinga’s obvious encouragement of attacks on his real or perceived opponents signal at all right thinking Kenyans of how intolerant and dictatorial he would be if he were to become president!
There is no more tolerant and democratic leader in Kenya today than Raila.
Look how long he put up with you.
You may say otherwise until your face turns yellow but that will not change the truth and fact that he is and nearly all Kenyans agree.
I say nearly all Kenyans because there are those like you who for having an ax to grind or ukabila will never see or say anything positive about Raila, even when the positive is unobstructedly in-front of their faces.
It is disappointing that the media tried to caricature the violent attacks on me and presented it as something to laugh at.
One couldn’t actually help but laugh at some of the footage.
The media does not invent scenes, it records them, even when they are staged.
They slanted the news of these two barbaric incidents and falsely projected them as an indication that ‘Kenyans did not like me or my book.’
The poor sales of your book and poor attendance in your so-called book tour speaks for itself as to whether Kenyans like or don’t care about your book.
The media has refused to expose the attacks as orchestrated by Raila Odinga and his goons for cheap political mileage.
It’s a lie that Raila orchestrated the attacks on you therefore there is nothing for the media to expose other than the fact the whole tour thing is a joke or at least not what it was billed to be.
You are understandably frustrated nothing has gone as you had hoped in generating publicity for you in this so-called book tour but this happens a lot in life.
Get used to it and enjoy whatever little time is left in your 15 minutes of fame.
Instead, they have tried to mislead the public into believing that my function in Nakuru was also violently disrupted when the truth is that the three ODM officials who tried to heckle me there were muffled by the more than 2,000 peaceful Kenyans who attended and bought the book.
The Nakuru function is now ancient.
The attention span for some of these things is a few days.
Soon even you will be forgotten.
The successful events in Kericho (August 22nd in the afternoon), Karatina (August 27th), and in Nyeri (August 27th) and Murang’a (August 28th) towns were either completely ignored by the media or the images of the tens of thousands of people that welcomed me in these places were suppressed and censored. Why?
This is an irrelevant question whether your premise if true or false for the reasons stated above.
A cynical and false propaganda that I am being financed by Mr. Odinga’s political opponents and the NSIS is being peddled desperately without any basis whatsoever.
It’s widely believed and there is anecdotal evidence you are a project of Raila opponents and haters.
Concocting stories, hurling abuse at me, threats, intimidation and attacks by hired goons will not deter me!
Soldier on, ABR soldier!
The new Constitution was not meant for Mr. Odinga and his goons alone!
The constitution is for all Kenyans it’s pointless for you to keep harping on this preposterous notion that it’s not or that only Raila enjoys its protections and rights.
Why has Mr. Oding’a goons been able to disrupt my functions in broad day light and have physically assault me without eliciting condemnation from the Kenya Publishers Association, the media, human rights organizations (local and international), human rights defenders and writers’ groups?
Because every indication is this was a staged event.
Why is there a conspiracy of silence?
There is no conspiracy of silence; it’s just that everyone has chosen to ignore you.
The attempt to silence me through humiliation, physical assault, concocted stories in the media and propaganda, are a brutal attack on my constitutional rights and they must not be tolerated.
No one is trying to silence you; go on and do you thing and we are sure you’ll be rewarded accordingly.
I challenge the media, human rights groups and our so-called human rights defenders to stand up and be counted or forever be consigned to spectators in the evolving culture of intolerance.
It does not mean when people reject your antics or ploys they are intolerant in the correct use of that word in political parlance.
Put another way, being tolerant is not the same thing as putting up with nonsense.
I will continue promoting my book and advocating for justice. The campaign against the culture and merchants of impunity will go on! Kenyans are awake!
Again, go on doing whatever you think you’re doing and nobody should stop or interfere with you on that.
As far as the campaign against impunity goes, Raila is leading in that war but what you’re doing cannot be said to be fighting against impunity; you’re actually the very beneficiary of impunity!
I will be in Thika town on Sunday, September 2nd, 2012 from 10am at Lizziki Hall, Thika Arcade, First Floor. I will stop-over at Ruiru and Juja on my way to Thika.
Given your disappointing performance thus far, I’ll be surprised if you’re given a red-carpet welcome in Thika but milk it for what’s worth.
It’s your right.