NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 14 – Lawyer Paul Muite on Saturday asked Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga to tell Kenyans what he knows about the abortive 1982 coup.
Muite, who spoke at the launch of the sensational book by Odinga’s former advisor Miguna Miguna, said the public has a right to know what happened at the time.
“There is some unfinished business about the attempted coup in 1982. I think Kenyans would wish to hear the views of the Prime Minister so that people can be able to properly put into context the democratic credentials, respect for the law and constitutionalism,” he asserted.
Muite said speaking out about what happened during the coup would give Kenyans a chance to know the truth.
The former Kabete legislator further asked Odinga to also tell Kenyans if he was aware about the ethnic mobilisation of 41 communities against one group in the run-up to the 2007 general elections.
“The Prime Minister should tell Kenyans… was he aware before the elections about this formula of 41 against one? Was he a beneficiary? It is ethnic mobilisation. He should tell Kenyans what he knew about it,” Muite said.
Muite who was one of the guest speakers during the launch of the book, “Peeling Back the Mask’ insisted that freedom of expression and right of public to information should be respected since the public has the right to know about the private life of a public figure.
Miguna’s book is critical of Odinga, but Muite asked Kenyans to read it with an open mind instead of criticising the author.
“The focus should be… is what the whistle blower saying true or not true. Not about the author. Do not forget on the accuracy of what he is saying. Stop diverting attention; that he is an enemy of so and so, this is being sponsored by so and so without answering the core issues. This is the approach that we should use when we read this book,” he advised.
Muite also criticised the manner in which the former Prime Minister’s advisor was removed from office.
“He was treated in unfair manner in which he was showed the door. I think it is unfair to go and lock the door of a senior official without pay. This issue should be explained by those who did it,” he complained.
Kamukunji MP Yusuf Hassan and former Kitutu Chache MP Jimmy Angwenyi and civil society groups are among others who attended the book launch.