The mother of all liberation battles and our movement’s surge begins on March 26, 2018 – Miguna Miguna
With the recent turn of political events, there is the word double-crossing and then there is Miguna Miguna. The man, who holds several titles under his belt, remains a political figure who never lacks harsh words for both his friends and enemies.
His ‘go for the balls’ kind of style, however, has seen the political class leave him to graze alone not once. With the coming together of Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga, he finds himself plowing a lone furrow thanks to his abrasive political nature of talking no prisoners.
Miguna Miguna is not the kind of guy who will say what the political class wants to hear doesn’t matter which side of the divide – Prof Ole Kiyiapi
The Lone Ranger
In Kenya, a serious politician needs the backing of a national political party to command respect, attention and get his voice heard. Unfortunately for Miguna, he’s a forsaken politician simply because he won’t toe a party line or take directions from a party’s leadership. His approach to tackling issues without self-restraint has been his biggest undoing.
During the coalition government, he served as Raila Odinga’s senior advisor on legal affairs but fell out with him after he was suspended on the account of gross misconduct.
So bitter was Miguna with the sacking, that in 2012 he launched his first memoir, Peeling Back the Mask: A Quest for Justice in Kenya. He planned to finish Raila politically and his book had a number of striking declarations, including: “I shall never, ever work with or for Raila Amolo Odinga again here on earth, in heaven or in hell. I would rather die than work with or for Raila Amolo Odinga.”
He resigned from ODM as a life member and announced for his candidacy for the Nairobi County gubernatorial seat as an independent candidate. He never made it to the ballot box.
From where I stand, Miguna Miguna is overrated – Kamotho Waiganjo
In 2016, he re-announced his bid for Nairobi County governor as an independent candidate. It is during this time that his running mate, Karen Wangenye dropped him, citing poor working relations. Despite the setback, he maintained that his candidacy was still firm. Strong as his manifesto was, Miguna came 4th in the 2017 general elections with a partly 9000 votes.
Despite voting for Uhuru Kenyatta twice which he acknowledged publicly, Miguna crawled back into Raila’s team right after the Supreme Court annulled the August presidential elections. He now transformed to one of the fiercest critics of Uhuru’s administration, accusing it of rigging itself into power.
What’s more, he became the self-styled general of the National Resistance Movement (NRM). NRM is a separate wing of NASA which was formed to fight for economic and electoral reforms. It maintained that Raila Odinga was the legit president of the Republic of Kenya and planned to swear him as the People’s President.
Everything was rosy until they made Raila Odinga take an oath at Uhuru Park, an event that other NASA principals skipped. While the ‘swearing in’ ceremony was a one-time thing, its consequences were felt in series.
As he administered the oath to Raila Odinga, Miguna Miguna adhered himself to Baba’s staunch supporters. So pleased were people with the self-declared NRM General that they planned to install him as the next Luo political kingpin. After all, Agwambo was getting old and it was time for him to pass the mantle to the next leader. Miguna had proved himself by putting his life at risk for the son of Jaramogi.
But more was to follow.
Miguna was arrested from his house and was made to tour several police stations and courts as well. Out of the blue, the government deported him to Canada, where he holds his second citizenship.
The courts, however, declared his deportation illegal and directed the Kenya Human Rights Commission to ensure that he returns to Kenya safely.
It was while he was still in Canada that Raila decided to shake hands with Uhuru, a move that did everything but didn’t sit well with Miguna.
Subsequently, NASA decided to suspended the People’s assembly which was regarded as the engine of NRM and Miguna has found himself a lone wolf again.
But there was one profound problem for the resistance: its seven months of protests and mobilization had made little serious headway in achieving its goals, while tensions, especially ethnic tensions, were mounting – Salim Lone
Had NASA pushed on with NRM agenda, Miguna would have something to ride on and keep him relevant for the next five 5 years. Without the backing of Raila Odinga, the movement is as good as dead.
Contrary to Myths being propagated by the contaminated Kenyan media, the NRMke isn’t “isolated” by the “handshake.” The NRMKe is not involved. We are not going to solve intractable societal ills through handshakes. We are going to do so through structural changes in governance – Miguna
However, the determined Miguna Miguna is still pushing the NRM agenda. He has attended several meetings with his supporters from different cities around the world. Whether he gets support from Kenyans is something that will become clear in the coming few months or even years.
Some of the “leaders” who have stood for positive, transformative change have suddenly and inexplicably abandoned us. They didn’t bother even to consult us. They didn’t care about our fresh wounds and the dead – Miguna Miguna
Brief History of Miguna Miguna
The year is 1963, in Magina, Nyando sub-county, where Miguna Miguna was born. His father died before he was born, leaving him to be raised by a single mother, who he claims to have instilled in him the sense of hard work. He attended Njiiris High School right before joining the University of Nairobi where he was a student leader from 1986 to 1987.
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His political activism would later get him detained during Moi’s regime and expelled from the university as well. On release, he fled to Tanzania and briefly stayed in Swaziland right before he was granted political asylum in Canada, 1988.
In Canada, he pursued a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science/ Philosophy from the University of Toronto, 1990. Thereafter, he earned a Juris Doctor from Osgoode Hall Law School of York in 1993 as well as a Master’s degree in law from the same institution. In 2007, he made his first attempt in politics by contesting the Nyando constituency parliamentary seat but lost to Fred Outa in the ODM party primaries.