NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 7 – Miguna Miguna had eight minutes to explain his ordeal as a guest of the Kenyan State to a BBC journalist at Amsterdam International Airport, en-route to Canada through a phone interview.
The self-proclaimed General of the outlawed National Resistance Movement, a faction of the Opposition National Super Alliance said police “treated me like a beast.”
But how did it all start?
Miguna was arrested on February 2 from his Runda home, by what he said was “a team of more than 30 heavily armed police officers.
“I was abducted from my house by people who did not even identify themselves as police,” the lawyer said.
But the drama did not begin there since the detectives used explosives to force their way into his compound and eventually inside his house.
Upon arrest, he says, “they took me to all manner of places.”
Initially, Miguna was taken to Kiambu, then Githunguri, Lari, the Inland Container Depot Police Station and the JKIA police station.
“I have been treated like a beast. I have been treated so badly in the five days that I was kept incommunicado detention. I was only given food twice; I was not allowed to sleep, I was kept standing for more than 24 hours and when I was able to sleep, I slept on bare cement cold floor without anything. I have not been able to take a shower since Friday, even right now, my feet are swollen…” the self-proclaimed general said.
At some point, he says he was worried that I “was going to get an attack of pneumonia. I demanded to see a doctor but they refused. I have been tortured. These guys do not respect the rule of law and the constitution and worse of all they call themselves law enforcement agencies.”
During the Interview, Miguna accused police of “impunity” for blatantly ignoring court orders.
Before Miguna was arrested, he had held an ‘explosive’ press conference where other than issuing ‘directives’ to opposition chief Raila Odinga supporters, he even taunted police to arrest him.
“If they want to look for the person who is responsible it is me and Odinga. Let them come for us!.. come baby come” he bellowed.
A day before, on February 1, police had detained Ruaraka Member of Parliament TJ Kajwang for administering the oath taken by Odinga.
During the January 30 event, Miguna was the signatory of the certificate handed over to Odinga, to certify him “as the People’s President.”
Kalonzo Musyoka, the Wiper leader, did not attend the event though he was meant to take oath as People’s Deputy President.
Odinga suffered a major blow after the United States condemned his move while insisting that the rule of law must be respected.
“The United States is gravely concerned by Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga’s self-‘inauguration’ on January 30,” US State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.
“Grievances must be resolved through appropriate legal mechanisms,” said Nauert, who also criticized “the government’s action to shut down, intimidate, and restrict the media.”
Odinga, a veteran opposition leader, has refused to accept Kenyatta’s re-election, which came after a deeply-divisive 2017 polls season in which rights activists say at least 92 people were killed.
The first election was held on August 8, was won by Kenyatta and then annulled in a historic decision by the Supreme Court, which ordered a re-run on October 26.
– Who is Miguna Miguna? –
Miguna is known for his fiery tweets, often replying to everyone who criticises him or makes comments contradicting his position on any matter.
He has not tweeted since January 31, a day after the controversial political event at Uhuru Park which police said he convened illegally.
The lawyer is a Kenyan, born in Kisumu district and practices law both in Kenya and Canada – where he was granted political asylum, enabling him to pursue higher education and even obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Philosophy degree from the University of Toronto and later pursued law at the Osgoode Hall Law School.
He often reminds his audience that he is a barrister and solicitor in Canada.
He was detained by the Moi regime due to political activism while serving as a student leader at the University of Nairobi, and fled to Tanzania on foot upon release, before heading to Swaziland for a brief stay before Canada took him in.