The actors: Questioner: Q, Miguna: A
Q: We have seen people attacking you during your book promotions, are not popular with Kenyans?
A: The vicious and barbaric attack on me has only occurred in Mombasa. Some people in the Kisumu audience got a bit worked up after I insulted all Luos by saying they all vote like robots. They understandably wanted a piece of me but thank goodness my new pals from the benefactors of my crusade against Raila were handy to calm things down and whisk me out of there. In the Mombasa case, the attacks were either planned and executed by me and my posse or they were planned, orchestrated, and instigated by Raila Odinga’s goons, depending on whether you want the truth or lies.
Q: But you’ve been quoted as saying the goons told you who hired them?
Q: So, according to your answer to my last question, they could have told you it was Raila or you?
A: What I said is it depends on whether what you want is the truth or lie. I don’t lie.
Q: But there are numerous incidences you have been clearly caught in a lie both in the book and during your many public appearances; are you saying all those calling you out on the lies are stupid or don’t know what they’re talking about?
A: Yes. And I would include you in that group for asking this childish question.
Q: Mr. Miguna, please try to be polite and avoid matusis, please. I am just doing my job and if I don’t, I’ll be shown the door much the same way you were; in fact, worse because there is no due process in any of the media houses.
Q: Okay, fine. Just know you’re dealing with Miguna who takes no crap from anyone and when push comes to shove, I know how to shove—just look at these elbows; I have used them fairly well shoving myself to all manner of places I am not welcome just because I can. What I do when I get there is another story.
Q: Before we got sidetracked, you were talking about the goons…
A: Yes. They were paid by Raila’s trusted assistant minister from Mombasa.
Q: How do you know that?
A: They told me. They even showed me some of the cash still overflowing from their pockets; lots of 1000 shilling notes and from my estimation, each was paid about 5000 bob so given they were about five of them, that means the price tag for my assault was 25 thousand.
A: So, the going rate for assaulting you is 25 thousand only? Is that not a bit too low for someone as important and nightmare to those you claim are after disrupting your so-called…excuse me, your book tour?
Q: Well, that was the budget for Mo…ah, the intention was to disrupt my book tour, prevent Kenyans from buying and reading my book, and to conceal the truth about corruption, nepotism and abuse of office from coming out.
Q: I am a bit confused; how do you know the bu…[loudly interrupted]
A: What I am telling you is the attacks have instead exposed Mr Odinga as an intolerant and dictatorial leader who doesn’t brook dissent. The goons hadn’t been invited to my meetings. They didn’t have to attend if they didn’t want to.
Q: Others who know of have worked with Raila will disagree with you that Raila is intolerant and dictatorial; in fact, these are words we started hearing used against Raila just before Mudavadi left ODM…
A: I am telling you…
Q: Mr. Miguna, please stop interrupting me. This is an interview; I ask a question, you answer after I finish asking the question, is that okay?
A: No it’s not okay. I don’t want you to waste my time asking me stupid questions or give me lectures about when the terms “intolerant” and “dictatorial” were first used against Raila…
Q: Mr. Miguna, we are going to conduct this interview my way or there won’t be an interview. You’re already complaining about media black-out we here at DN want to give you exposure as much as possible…
A: I know. I am just trying to help you in conducting a good interview. I don’t know where you went to school but there is a lot I can teach you about journalism…
Q: Mr. Miguna; please don’t go there; I know you believe you know everything there is to know about everything but I am not going to allow you to walk over me as you have other journalists so you either answer my questions or this interview is over…
A: Okay fine. Ask your next question.
Q: You were saying something about Raila…
A: Yes; you see, as a leader and someone who aspires to be president, Raila should have condemned those barbaric attacks unreservedly. Ironically, he has attacked me — the victim of his goons’ violent assaults — through his presidential secretariat.
Q: But Raila is on record having said he does not condone and nobody should engage in any political violence and both ODM and Raila’s Campaign office issued statements condemning the Mombasa incident; why are you insisting that Raila does so himself in your case?
A: Because I am Miguna Miguna. I can’t go around being attacked and Mr. Odinga doesn’t say a word about it. Besides, he has full control over his supporters. They wouldn’t have attacked me if he had publicly directed them not to.
Q: Are then saying if Raila were to publicly ask his supporters not to attack you, you can travel down to Bondo—or even Kisumu for that matter, without any security or efforts to avoid contact with the general public and you’ll freely walk around without fear of being attacked?
A: Please don’t dignify the goons by calling them “Kenyans”; they are pathetic paid goons. It is very disappointing that the media have gleefully reported the attacks as if endorsing them.
The media should have condemned them unequivocally. They should also have reported accurately on the successful events in Nakuru, Kericho, Karatina, Nyeri, and Murang’a towns, where thousands of peaceful Kenyans gave me a heroic welcome.
Why gloat over the barbaric attacks, yet deliberately conceal the images of the heroic welcomes I received in Kericho, Nyeri, and Murang’a?
Q: Strictly from a newsworthiness point of view, attracting any amount of crowd in an area where you are expected to is neither newsworthy nor heroic and ditto for not attracting any crowd in an area where you are expected to as Mudavadi has begun to painfully appreciate so the question I should ask you is, why were you snubbed in Murang’a?
A: Who told you I was snubbed? I was given a hero’s welcome and I don’t care whether don’t think I am a hero; was Dedan Kimathi not a hero? Was Jaramogi not a hero? What about Bildad Kaggia…
Q: Okay; let’s not get excited now…Why have you not taken any legal action against the people who disrupted your Mombasa and Nakuru book promotions?
A: I was not disrupted or attacked in Nakuru. As I have said, the attacks were in Kisumu and Mombasa. Three people were drowned out as they tried to heckle me in Nakuru. The hired goons attacked me in the open in the presence of the police and the media in Kisumu and Mombasa.
The media have clips that the police and the DPP can use to convict the criminals. It is up to the police and the DPP to charge and prosecute the offenders. The media should be at the forefront of demanding that they be charged.
The attacks on me were as barbaric as those of Moi goons on Bishop Njoya and the late Prof Wangari Maathai. I will only testify as a victim of and witness to the attacks. Since when did I have the power to charge and prosecute criminal offenders?
Q: Mr. Miguna; I notice you have this persistent desire to compare yourself to…
A: [Interrupting] I can compare myself to whomever I want to. Every one of those people I have compared myself to I am exactly in their same situation when they were fighting for the civil rights of others and quite frankly, I think I am better than they were because 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…
Q: Where will your monument be erected to commemorate this great accomplishment of yours? Do you prefer…
A: [Interrupting] The eyesore on Uhuru Highway Moi defecated on the city with should be torn down and a real monument erected in my honor. You see, there won’t be another Miguna for a long time…
Q: You can say that again.
A: And I am glad you appreciate your appreciation of my great contribution to warrant a monument.
Q: [Thinking to himself: I was actually being sarcastic but this madman thinks I meant this; he’s really gone…[laughing] and he thinks it Raila who is gone?!]
A: Why are you laughing?
Q: It’s just something you said but sorry;…
A: I didn’t say anything funny…
Q: It’s okay Mr. Miguna…now, it has been alleged that you are now friends with the PM’s detractors on the other side of the Coalition Government, that they are supporting you financially. Any truth in this?
A: The PM and his cohorts are peddling lies. They are desperate. So, they have manufactured political links where there are none. Nobody is funding me. Who funded Jaramogi Oginga Odinga’s Not Yet Uhuru, which he published following his fallout with Mzee Jomo Kenyatta?
Q: There you go again comparing yourself…
A: [Interrupting] Listen; I told you I can do this! I wish somebody was funding me because I actually need money to conduct a thorough campaign against the culture and merchants of impunity. Ask those spreading such desperate lies to substantiate their claims.
Q: Well, it has been virtually impossible to trace or prove movement of large amounts of money—in the tens of billions—stolen from the public by known public figures and stashed in local and international banks; are you saying it would be easier to trace and prove a few million shillings stacked in briefcases being moved and shared around?
A: Isn’t Raila Odinga the coordinator and supervisor of all government functions, including the NSIS?
Q: You tell me; you’re the one who created the coalition government!
A: Well; what I said is without me, Raila could not have gotten the half-bread he got; he would have probably gotten just a title of Prime Minister and two askaris. None of these people who now have plum jobs at the PM’s office would be there if it were not for my individual efforts; not Caroli Omondi, not Isahakia—none of them!
Besides, by not ordering NSIS to produce evidence that I am being funded, is Raila implying that I have now taken over his job as PM?
Q: Someone can make a compelling case you now believe you’re more important in Kenya than the Prime Minister…
A: [Interrupting] Miguna Miguna is a politician in his own right. What would Miguna Miguna the President/Senator/ MP do differently?
I am a political strategist, tactician, and actor, not a politician. I am a lawyer and a writer. I am a human rights defender.
Q: An actor, for sure… [Thniking: Should Kenya institute some kind of an Academy Award for actors and jokers in the country? I am sure he’ll win hands down!]
A: I believe that leadership without integrity is conmanship.
If Kenyans bestowed upon me any leadership responsibilities, I would discharge my duties honestly, honorably, diligently, and in a disciplined manner.
I would work very hard to uproot corruption, tribalism, and nepotism in all their vestiges. I would work hard to create employment opportunities for our youth.
Having an unemployment and underemployment rate of more than 70 per cent is a recipe for chaos. I would help instill, entrench, and promote justice for all.
Q: Are you declaring your candidature for the presidency?
A: No. I am more than qualified to be president and I know I can do a better job than Kibaki, Raila, Moi and Kenyatta combined. I am certainly better qualified than any of the candidates vying for the office. So, if I wanted to run for president, I can do that but just to give others a chance, I will opt to vie for the Othaya constituency because that seat will be vacant after Kibaki retires. I will like to follow the statesman Kibaki’s footsteps and eventually get to State House like him.
Q: [Thinking: Should ask him why not other constituencies that will have no incumbent such as Lang’ata? Nah; waste of time; he’ll just offer some lie for a reason he won’t] Mr. Miguna, you say you want to follow the footsteps of Kibaki; this is the same man you say in your book stole the elections in 2007?
A: Well, that was then. I have been spending a lot of time with those who were on PNU and now have second thoughts about who won the elections in 2007. Kibaki won the elections fair and square and Raila lost.
Q: Oookay! Moving right along; somebody said that a people get the leaders they deserve. Are you persuaded that Kenyans are a great people?
A: Yes and No. That statement is only partially correct. Historically, some leaders have been imposed on a people by vested foreign interests, local oligarchs, and/or by dysfunctional and weak institutional structures.
The current Kenyan leaders occupy their positions by default. Most are not qualified to lead cattle dip committees. Kenyans don’t deserve those thieving, looting, and criminal gangs dressed in suits.
Now, Kenyans will have better leadership when Luos and other communities that are supporting Raila stop voting like robots.
Q: You are once again repeating an insult that got you in trouble in Kisumu; are you not concerned that you’re further alienating yourself from the Luo community?
A: No. The Luos, especially those from Bondo have always rejected me and don’t think much of me. I am now confident with this book I will liberate Luo Nyanza from the tyranny and dictatorship of Mr. Odinga.
Q: What is your ideology, your world view?
I am fundamentally a humanist Pan-Africanist; one who holds dear the dream of a fully liberated, united, democratic, and prosperous Africa. At the core, I am also a social democrat. I believe that no society can thrive without social justice for all.
Q: The dog-eared phrase that in politics there are no permanent enemies: Do you foresee any rapprochement between you and the Prime Minister?
A: That’s a silly phrase. It is such phrases that have confused and compromised our people into believing that we must work with irredeemable and despicable characters — people who should be serving time in jail — merely because we need them to ascend to power.
We should never accept this cynical philosophy of “the end justifies the means” [thinking to himself: even though this is exactly what I am trying to do; I bring down Raila, I’ll be forever a hero for everyone except those who support him and gain favor with whoever gets elected as president instead; can you say AG!…smiling].
Q: Why are you smiling?
A: Oh…it’s just something I remembered… What I am saying is power cannot be sought and obtained at any price.
We must conduct our politics in a clean/ethical, honest, responsible, and democratic manner. Consequently, I don’t see any prospects of ever working with Raila Odinga again. [Wishing; oh I wish he is not reelected as president; he does and I am really toast!] He is too old to reorient himself and reform.
Q: What if Raila is elected as president and in the spirit of forgiving but not forgetting he asks you to join his government, say as Attorney General; would you turn down that unique opportunity to serve your country?
A: Of course I would turn him down. You see, I am the only person in the world who can say no to Raila…[thinking…are you kidding me? I’ll be down on my all fours praising the Lord and thanking Awambo for the opportunity; I may be mad but I am not stupid!]
Q: Probably fearing some sort of communal backlash, some of your relatives were reportedly uneasy about your book. Were the fears justified?
Although their fears are real, their responses are misplaced. They should be condemning the merchants of impunity, not coddling them. The people have the power to reject those purveyors of discord, violence and impunity. Nobody is above the law.
Q: Correspondence between you and other civil servants portrays you as being rather rough around the edges and a tad materialistic… insisting on a top-of-the-range BlackBerry, for example.
A: I am Miguna Miguna. What; did they expect me to be seen using some cheap cellphone when making the important phone calls I had to make? Besides, I am yet to see the correspondence you are referring to. I believe most of the documents (if at all) you have been shown are contrived and manufactured to mislead the public.
They must be very desperate. What they omitted to show you are hundreds of letters, memoranda, and briefs I wrote to the PM, demanding accountability for the tens of billions of taxpayers’ money that have been squandered and misappropriated under his watch.
Between those billions and a Sh30,000 Blackberry, what would you rather talk about? I don’t have time for childishness.
By the way, some of the people spreading such useless propaganda use more expensive phones and have squandered billions of your own money.
Unfortunately for them, I have never accepted discriminatory treatment. I demand equal pay for equal work and equal treatment. If they don’t like it — too bad.
Any honest person who knows me or has worked with me will have difficulty believing that I am materialistic. And yes, I don’t coddle incompetence, corruption, and laziness. Everybody else in government does but not me!
Q: I just wanted you to…
A: [Interrupting] Are you suggesting that you would prefer a dishonest, lazy, thieving public servant to an efficient, effective, and strict one? If that’s what they call “rough around the edges”, then I am guilty as charged.
Q: Are you Kenyan or Canadian? What’s the truth about your citizenship?
A: Who doesn’t know that I am a Kenyan by birth?
Q: Mr. Miguna; the constitution provides that those Kenyans who obtained citizenship in other countries lose their Kenyan citizenship and must apply to regain it; my question is, are you a Kenyan citizen?
A: I am in Kenya; am I not? Did I not work for the government as a senior advisor?
Q: I take that as a non-answer but let’s move on. If you were still the PM’s adviser, what would be your counsel regarding the violence in Mombasa?
A: I am not the PM’s adviser at the moment. I don’t answer hypothetical questions.
Q: What do you mean “at the moment;” do you dream of some day being an adviser again?…never mind, under what circumstances did you find yourself on the wrong side of that regime?
A: I don’t understand your question. I was abducted at gun-point from the University of Nairobi halls of residence, detained incommunicado with four other student leaders, before being released and expelled in 1987. I subsequently fled into exile. I thought you have read my book. It’s all there.
Q: As a matter of curiosity, who is your best friend? What does Miguna Miguna do for relaxation? Does he dance, drink beer or tea?
I don’t think you are entitled to that information. It is personal and privileged in the context of this interview [laughing] I think you need to read my book.
Q: What next after the storm kicked up by the book settles?
A: I didn’t know there was a storm. If there is, I hope you are referring to the resurgence of resistance and challenge to authority. We need more of it, not less. That’s the only way we can realise the gains of the new Constitution, which many of our so-called leaders only pay lip service to. I’m not retreating until our laws and the Constitution is fully implemented, respected, and upheld. We must pursue justice for all. That’s my mission.
Q: That’s all the time we have thank you Mr. Miguna. Now that you have scored this interview, are you still of the view the media is giving you a black-out with your so-cal…ah book tour?
A: Yes! Where is the Standard; Where is the Star; Where are the cameras, Citizen, KTN, my buddy Jeff Koinange…all of them; where are they? They should all be lined up waiting to interview me after you!
Q: [To himself: God, please help him!]
***The foregoing is this bloggers version of how he thinks this interview with Miguna Miguna should have occurred were Miguna to be intellectually honest and blunt. For the actual interview, go to Upclose and Candid With Miguna Miguna***