NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 16 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s former advisor Miguna Miguna left the country Monday night on a worldwide tour to promote his explosive new book, ‘Peeling Back the Mask,’ which reveals the intrigues and power games at the PM’s office where he worked until last year.
Miguna told Capital FM’s Talk360 show on Sunday that the memoir was immediately available in bookstores in Kenya, the United Kingdom and North America, as well as online via Amazon.com.
“I am instantly going on a worldwide tour to promote my book, to make sure that everybody reads it, not just in Kenya,” he said.
When asked by Talk360 host Eric Latiff whether he would flee the country to avoid a backlash, Miguna said:
“I am a Kenyan, I am here for good! I will fight them head-on!”.
In the now-controversial book, Miguna describes Odinga as a poor manager saying his leadership style and management of public affairs was wanting.
“Raila cannot manage because he’s an oppositionist politician who has never transformed into an executive,” he said in comparison to President Mwai Kibaki’s style. “When you go to a meeting, you can tell that Kibaki is chairing, but when you go to a Raila meeting, you don’t know who’s chairing, people just talk anyhow and meetings end as if they’ve not started!”
He challenged anybody who feels aggrieved by the book to take him to court, promising to teach them some lessons in law.
“I love and thrive in successfully litigating cases. I like the disputes and I like to be able to go there and prove my case,” he said. “So I’m waiting and in fact I encourage them to rush to court so that I can teach them law and some litigation,” he added.
He pointed out that he will not be cowed by any threats that may come his way.
“If somebody is asking you ‘don’t you fear a criminal can kill you?’ and there are a lot of innocent Kenyans dying on the roads out of recklessness and criminal corruption of planners, engineers, and reckless drivers while others are dying from cocaine imported here by politicians and leaders, that’s life,” he explained.
Miguna even claimed that he was privy to information that could show how some top ODM officials were aware of the events of the 2008 post election violence.
“The majority of Kenyans wanted change and I still believe that they voted against President Kibaki and as a result, when they saw that the elections were clearly mismanaged and that Raila was denied the presidency, they rose up,” he said.
“As a result there was a confrontation between the security forces and the people and a lot of people were killed because ODM fought back,” he added.
Miguna was hesitant to expound on the details pertaining to ODM’s actions that heightened the post election violence because he feels the information may lead to more violence in the upcoming elections.
“I didn’t go into the details of what I know because I’m a responsible man and we want reconciliation and cohesion in the country after the post-election violence and I don’t want anybody to blame me for post-election violence in the upcoming elections,” he said.
“Talking recklessly is not helpful so I told them (ODM) I know what to say and when, and I will be very careful with what I do, but please don’t provoke, push or threaten me. I’ve told them that I’ve shot a warning shot in the air, but if they want to aim at me I shall do the same and they won’t like it because between me and them, they know I’m innocent and they know some of them are guilty,” he explained.
Miguna briefly discussed the ‘41 versus 1’ political strategy where Odinga is accused of deliberately presenting Kibaki’s regime as a Kikuyu government, while framing his campaign as being about teaching Kikuyus a lesson or two.
“It was stated quite openly in my presence that the only way ODM would be able to win the election was through turning Kenyans against the Kikuyus,” he stated.
“You turn people through propaganda and misinformation. They were not planning violence, they were planning to win an election through a propaganda strategy and I told them that that’s not something I believe in because I’m a Pan-Africanist,” he explained.
Miguna acknowledged that he did not foresee the post election violence that saw 1,133 people killed and 650,000 others displaced.
“I did not foresee civilian violence. What I thought could have happened was Kibaki using the security forces to suppress dissent and to execute a civilian coup,” he said.
Nominated MPs Rachel Shebesh and Millie Odhiambo have in the meantime rubbished the contents of the book describing Miguna’s revelations as spiteful.
Speaking to Capital FM News, Millie termed Miguna as a difficult man to deal with even when he was in office.
“I can tell you as members of Parliament that we used to avoid Miguna like the plague and I’m not exaggerating,” she revealed.
“In other words, we used to use Miguna as a scarecrow or what we used to scare children with and I can’t be wasting my time reading books by people that we used as scarecrows,” she added.
Her sentiments were echoed by Shebesh.
“Whoever paid Miguna and continues to pay Miguna needs to know that they put money in a worthless exercise,” she stated.
“Whatever Miguna is writing I could have written for them for free because these are things that are discussed within the party. They’re issues of the internal party that we’ve dealt with publicly and some privately and they didn’t need to pay Miguna what they paid him because it was a waste of money,” she explained.
Miguna, who says he is in Kenya for good and he will not be chased out of his country, plans to write two more books while continuing his law practice.
“I’m here to enlighten people… I’m here for us to educate each other and to shed light, interrogate and debate so that out of that, Kenyans should be able to decide who is best as the next president for Kenya,” he said.