The Jackal News is carrying a story on its website claiming that former Raila communications director and political advisor is publishing a book which is will “devastate the Kenyan political landscape, particularly Odinga’s presidential campaign” that the Jackal News further claims has been “dampened by Miguna Miguna’s flesh-tearing tome, Peeling Back the Mask: A Quest for Justice in Kenya.”
First of all one must laugh at the idea of anyone characterizing Miguna’s book as a “flesh-tearing tome” unless one is referring to Miguna’s flesh as the book has been nothing but the undoing of Miguna and nobody else.
Be that as it may be, there is no doubt the Jackal News story about Salim is yet another attempt by Raila’s opponents to portray him as losing support, since these opponents are having such a rough time finding ways to undermine Raila in the political arena.
Sources close to Salim, and indeed many others I immediately contacted about this startling story, say that the Jackal News got everything wrong about the forthcoming book.
The facts about the book are widely known, not just among political insiders but by the reading public.
The Sunday Nation in July of this year carried a prominent two page spread in its early pages highlighting the essential points about the book.
That story indicated that the book will come out after the election, and laid out themes the book will cover.
From the highlights, it is so clear that the book is NOT an expose and neither does the book go after Raila or for that matter his opponents; rather, it’s a very serious book which will provide an authoritative history of the decade between the 2002 and 2013 elections, representing objectively the views of all parties and political figures.
Salim, the veteran journalist and well-known and respected figure around the world would, indeed, gravely disappoint were he to pen anything other than a serious book we all can learn a few things from and certainly doubly so were he to pen anything like the so-called Miguna memoir.
Indeed, if Salim’s intention was to discredit Raila or anyone else, wouldn’t he have the book published before the elections? Isn’t inflicting maximum damage what Miguna had in mind in rushing to publish his attack “tome” which has completely flopped as predicted?
Even the most junior journalist or blogger could easily have done some simple homework and got the facts right about Salim’s book, including Chatham House website that Jackal News quotes!
When Salim spoke at Chatham House, he highlighted the publication date as being after the election, and he clearly stated the nature of the book and issues issues the book will cover.
In that speech, which is summarized on the summarized in the Chatham House website, it is clearly stated that this will be a book about how progressive change has or has not occurred in Kenya and what might be the best way to ultimately achieve it, despite immense obstacles that stand in the way.
Rather than the naysayers and Raila haters and non-supporters salivating for a “killer” book from anyone, including Salim, we all should anticipate Salim’s book with equal fervor but for the good reason that the veteran journalist and senior advisor to Raila has drawn from his experience and composed a book we can learn from and reshape our thinking and the way forward.
When we do that, namely, looking forward to books that build, not destroy or attempt to, we would have elevated ourselves to greater heights of political maturity.
Let’s hope so and wish good luck to Salim with this worthy endeavor.